Barnett's Art Room

Fine Art Classes: Art 1, Art 2, Sculpture 2-4

Issue 4, Volume 1, December 2013

Message from the Editor

The final month of the first semester saw a ton of art being made. Art 1 students created 2 different artworks in the past month. Painting and Drawing students created 3. Beginning sculpture students learned about modules. Intermediate sculpture students did some paper mache. And advanced students finished their long journey turning a children's story into art.

On top of all that, they found time to take some exams. Art 1 had the choice of a project or a written. And, all upper art classes did a practical where they showed off some skills they had learned.

Now that the new semester is beginning, I look forward to much more art and seeing where the kids go from here.


Exploding Boxes

We learned about shapes and different classifications shapes can fall under. While there are many, we focused on geometric, organic, and amorphous/freeform. Students "met" artist Henri Matisse and his technique of "drawing with scissors". They created 3 collages, each focusing on a specific classification. As usual, they knocked it out of the park.

Monster Pinchpots

The final artwork we created this semester was an introduction into sculpture. We learned the difference between clay and ceramic. We learned what trapping air in clay can do when you fire the piece in the kiln (see picture below). And they learned the hand-building technique of the pinchpot. The pictures are just a taste of the artwork. They have all since been fired with only a few casualties. When we return, we will glaze their creations and refire.

ART 2: Painting and Drawing

Color Collage with a Positive Overlay

I asked students to look beyond the images they found in the magazines and look only at the colors on the page. From there, they created a collage of color from the shapes they cut out. It was fun to watch the kids talk with each other and pull out pages from magazines for others that were looking for green, pink or blue, among other colors. Some cut random shapes and glued in a random pattern, while others cut strips and meticulously glued them down in lines. Once they finished their layout, they then designed a positive image they cut out from white board and glued it on top to reveal the color below in the negative space. Students surprised me when I finally saw their images come to life with the designed overlay.

Texture Paintings

I like to introduce my young artists to different ways of making art. I love to show them something new they have never worked with before. When I make my own work, I like to use texture mediums. They add depth and can add so much life and movement to artwork. One day I thought it would be interesting to see what my students thought of them. And well, they didn't disappoint. And, every year, they continue to jump right in, get messy, and have fun. They learn and explore so much with color and line and movement. I see the wheels turning in their heads when they open the lids to the different texture containers and then decide what tool they want to use to put it on the canvas. Students are always very successful with this project.

Midterm Exam

Over the course of the semester we learned about composition. Composition in an artwork can make it or break it. The idea can be there, but how an artist decides to lay it out on the page can really bring a viewer in and make him stay or do quite the opposite where the viewer glances and moves on. Students practiced the different aspects of composition in their weekly sketches all semester long. For their midterm, students randomly chose one of the aspects from a hat and created an artwork showcasing that composition element. They had free choice of medium and content. I was very pleased with the results. I can't stress enough how talented these students are.


Modular Linear Sculptures

Beginning sculptors were given 100+ toothpicks and were to create modules (a unit) from either 2, 3, or 4 toothpicks. Once they had created their modules, they then put them together into one sculpture that had movement. This was a project in being exact as all modules needed to be the same (or as close as possible). It was also a project in patience...something all sculptors need.


Paper Mache Monsters and Aliens

Monsters and Aliens is a theme around my classroom. The look and shape of the monster or alien only has the limitation of the student artist's imagination. That is why I love using it as a theme. Intermediate sculptors created monsters from newspaper and tape, then covered with a couple of layers of paper mache. I required the students to have their creations be at least 12" in one direction and for their monster to stand on it's own. Here are a couple.


Bringing Children's Stories and Nursery Rhymes to Life

I like to challenge my advanced sculptors. I like to see them draw on what we have learned over the past few years. This project did just that. I had the kids each pick a children's story, nursery rhyme or song. I then told them they had to somehow articulate it into a sculpture--bring it to life. They could use whatever media they felt would work best for their chosen story. They were also allowed to add a twist if they wanted.

What they created is awesome: "Roses are Red"; "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg"; "10 Monkeys Jumping on a Bed"; "Rapunzel"; "You Are My Sunshine"; and "Little Red From the Hood" (this one had a twist.) Below are 4 of the 6 projects. Two still need to be glazed as two students worked with clay.

I know I keep saying this, but I am so proud. They worked so hard and were so creative. They pulled from so many of the things we have learned over the years they were in my classes.


ART 1 will glaze their pinchpots when we return then begin learning about bas relief. Remind your student that if they did not bring in their cereal box at the beginning of the year, now is the time.

ART 2: PAINTING AND DRAWING students will learn a new drawing technique, subtraction. We will also be working with charcoal.

BEGINNING SCULPTORS will start a new journey. We will be shifting our focus to just clay. The students will go in depth into the world of clay and ceramics. We will move onto the hand-building technique of coil and go from there.

INTERMEDIATE SCULPTORS will also be working with clay. They will be doing 2 clay projects simultaneously...the potter's wheel and a second hand-building project.

ADVANCED SCULPTORS will begin a journey into a toddler sized village--to be completed in time for the first Taylor High School Art Show at the new high school


Coming soon to Taylor High School is going to be our first Art Show in the new school. In honor of Youth Art Month (See link below), we will be putting on a show of student work. Work can be from school--from any class, not just mine. Work can be from home--art they created on their own. I am very excited and hope to see you there.

MARCH 28, 2014! Time tba.

Displaying the (He)Art of Students

As stated above, March is Youth Art Month, and with that will come Taylor High School Art Show. The school/district are in need of display panels. I have set up a Donor's Choose project to help obtain these display panels. If you or anyone you know would like to help out the art program, any donation to the project, large or small, is greatly appreciated.

Displaying the (He)Art of Students


The subject matter of work from students may at times be edgy or controversial. I do set limits on things that are not appropriate for the learning environment, while still letting the students have a voice.