Week of December 14th-December 18th

With the last full week of school before Christmas break, we will be finishing up the Lego Colored Pencil compositions by completing a self evaluation paper and class critique on Monday.  The students have done an excellent job of working with perspective and form and accomplishing that through layering and blending of colored pencils.  There are already a few wonderful examples on the Student Work page.

On Wednesday, the 16th, I will be demonstrating how to cut a mat.  The students will be required to cut and attach a mat to their mid-semester exam composition for the exam period.  This is a skill that all artists need to know how to do in order to  present their work in a finished manner.

We will also be doing an exercise with oil pastels that will only require a few class periods.  The goal is for them to experiment with the possibilities that oil pastels give artists.  

There may even be a class period or two that they will be able to do some research for their mid-semester exam.  This is dependent upon the schedules this week.


  1. MONDAY (DECEMBER 21st) and TUESDAY (DECEMBER 22nd):  I will be meeting with students individually to look at their ideas/ sketches for the mid-semester exam.  At MINIMUM, they will need the research information on the 3 artists they have chosen and a list of items they plan to have in their still life.  If any student would like to meet earlier, please let me know.

  2. Oil Pastel experiments-TBA

  3. Art Club Christmas Party- MONDAY, DECEMBER 22nd


Art 1 Semester Exam

Self Portrait (But, with a TWIST…)

*Still life- Lifeless or inanimate objects that are grouped together

in an interesting way to make a picture. 

1)      Everyone will be creating a composition that will be done in the Still Life tradition.  The goal is to find as many objects that represent WHO you are…

A)  One example of finding objects is to simply take objects that you like, that tell something about your tastes, interests, etc.  For example:  Favorite CDs, T-shirts, art supplies, pictures of people who are important in your life…                                                                                              B)  Another way to go is to follow the Dutch still life painters of the 16th and 17th century and search for deeper meaning in your objects…                           

    *DEATH/ MORTALITY-candle just extinguished, skull, decaying fruit or flowers           *LENGTH and PASSING OF LIFE-A chronometer (the timepiece that resembles a pocket watch), any kind of clock                                                                              *CHANCE-Tarot cards, dice                          *KNOWLEDGE-Books                             *VANITY or“VANITAS” (The meaningless of earthly life)-Lipstick, mirror, smoke, coins, tulips, soap bubbles, your own picture or reflection in the piece                  *BIRTH-Shells                                *FIDELITY-Dogs                                                   *WEALTH-Shells, Books, Musical instruments, silk fabrics

2)  Everyone needs a MINIMUM of 6 objects in their Still life.  You may use more than 6.

2)     Using the list below, everyone needs to research THREE of the artists listed BEFORE you start on your composition.  All the artists listed have done or are known primarily for their Still life compositions.  Many of the artists have worked in other styles or genres as well, so be sure to find their Still life examples when doing the research.   Once you have picked 3, you will need to either write down the information to these questions OR put them on a word document:

** (You will need this information for the exam period in a paper form)**

1)  Any art movements/ styles that they were connected with

            2)  Colors used in their palette (that is, colors or color schemes they generally used in their pieces)…hot or cold colors, dark colors, earth tones, etc…

            3)  Techniques they would have used to apply paint/ pencil/etc. to the surface…Is it smooth, rough, etc.?  Look and think about the texture.

            4)  When did they live?  Or what is their birthdate if they are still alive?

5)  TWO pieces of Biographical Information not including when they lived.

6)  Objects they used in their Still Life compositions

7)  What was the name of a piece that you really liked by your artist? 

                 Be able to explain WHY you liked it.


Audrey Flack               Robert Kogge             Cynthia Peterson                    Sara Roush

David Bailly                Joan Miro                    Preston Dickinson                  Stuart Davis

Samuel Halpert          Hannah Hoch             Marsden Hartley                     Walt Kuhn

Henry Lee McFee        Yasuo Kuniyoshi         Walter Murch                          Max Weber

Georgia O’Keefe         Franklin Watkins         James Rosenquist                   Janet Fish

Harmen Steenwyck    Max Beckmann           Bradley Walker Tomlin          Frans Snyders

Juan Sanchez CotanClara Peeters               Cornelius Gijsbrechts             James Peale

Maria van Oosterwyck                                                William Harnett                      Joseph Decker           

Kenneth Davies          Carolyn Brady             Mary Pratt                               William Bailey

Paul Cezanne             Giorgio Morandi         Andre Derain                          Henri Matisse

3)  Once you have, hopefully, found inspiration in some of the Still life artists listed above, your next step is to build your still life.  Think about how you want the objects arranged that is both INTERESTING and works well… Overlapping the objects and putting them on different spatial planes will add to the interest.  See as reference your sheet from the beginning of the year on Composition.

            *Make sure you set it up in a place that won’t be in the way or have to get moved

            *Take some pictures of it so you have an added reference to check

*Draw what you see up front first, then draw the next object that is behind it and so on and so on…

4)  We will have two “QUESTION/ PROBLEM/ SKETCH DAYS” on MON. DEC. 21st and TUES., DEC. 22nd during class…  BE PREPARED!  You may show me your sketch or ideas before that day if you like.

5)  The media that you use is your choice.  However, I would highly recommend that you choose a media that you feel confident working with.  (For example, don’t use watercolor if you have never really worked with watercolor before)  This exam is meant for you to SHOWCASE what you know about good composition and technique with your material. 

6)  Your composition can be on whatever flat base you think will work best.  I would recommend the good white drawing paper.  I have already cut pieces of it to the size that you will need for the exam.  These pieces will be sitting on the stools in front of the white board. The size of the paper is 12” x 16”.  You may use it either vertically or horizontally.  Please choose the BEST orientation for YOUR composition.

7)  IF you want to make your composition in a different size, orientation or material, please check with me first.  It should not be a problem, but I want to make sure you get the correct dimensions for the mat.  The handout that I will give you at the mat demonstration will relate to the 12”x 16” dimension. 

8)  On the day of the exam, you will be expected to bring your SMILING and HAPPY faces to the Art room with your SPECTACULAR finished and matted Self Portraitstill life compositionALONG WITH all the research you found on your 3 artists (In paper form).

9) Your exam composition will be due at your exam time.  There will be no Study period prior to the exam.

           *2nd period is Friday, Jan. 15th from 10:20-1:15

           * 3rd period is Tuesday, January 19th from 7:50-10:15. 

**Your piece will need to be matted BEFORE the exam.  You will not be able to finish your exam or mat it during the exam time.

10)  You will also need THREE of your best pieces that you have done throughout the semester for the actual exam period.  Your exam cannot be one of the pieces, but sketchbook assignments and masks may be used.

11)  During the exam time, you will also be updating your Art folder on your computer  with your compositions from the past 2 quarters.  I will have the images on a flash drive for you to download. 

*We will learn how to cut a mat on Wednesday, Dec. 16th- Don’t be absent!

Remember to…