Friday, December 16, 2016

Artist of the Week -- Arielle Haggerty

Grandpa Jack (pencil)

I took into my hands to use my love for art to honor the man that was my "father" growing up, the man showed me what life really was. My grandfather passed on New Years Eve of 2015 after a long and gruesome three years of fighting against multiple cancers. I spent long sleepless nights holding his hand as he fought for his life in the ICU in September of 2015. He was bound to two different hospitals from the beginning of August 2015 to the middle of December. One week after he had come home with my grandmother and I, on Christmas Eve, he had different scans done determining that he had only weeks to live.

Most of my family had said their goodbyes on Christmas, knowing that it would be his last. That same day my grandfather looked into the eyes of his grandchildren and told us that he knew he would not make it to the new year. He had acted "fine" the night of December 30th.  We had gone through the nightly routine of feeding tube changes and had left him to watch cartoons, his favorite thing to do. Out of a dead sleep I woke up from a nightmare that was just about to become real.  My grandmother had come into my room and told me my grandfather wasn't doing well and that everything would be okay.

As I sat in my room, trying to decide what I should do, his life began to fade. I walked into the living room at  three thirty in the morning to see my grandfather's mother, sisters, and brother along with my aunt, uncle and oldest cousins. I knew I was about to encounter something that I had feared for the past three years. That's when I heard the EMT's discussing how old my grandfather "was" and in that moment my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach.  It was a feeling that I have never felt in my 14 years of existence.

I quickly returned to my room with my dog as she was trying to get to my grandfather.  My younger cousin, who was eight at the time was sleeping on the top bunk. I didn't want to have to tell her that he was gone, but she woke up and saw me in tears.  My older cousin hugged us both and my grandmother took us into my grandfather's room. I held his hand and kissed him on his forehead, still warm and left the room. The EMT came into my home with a stretcher and advised me to go into my room for my own sake, but I stood in the hall, I watched them take him out of my home, his face uncovered out of respect and until his funeral that was the last I saw of my beloved grandfather.

This piece will always be a great part of my family's life, and I am so thankful that I could have created this for them, to keep his memory alive. As the reverend told me on the day of his funeral, "This is all in your hands now." Now I am putting it all into the hands of art, as I will always illustrate the golden heart that had beat within his chest for the 64 years of his life.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Artist of the Week -- Alexis Harford

Peekaboo! (acrylic)
The creative process starts off with a task or challenge, then coming up with a plan or idea follows. Picking the best art medium for your piece and then experimenting with new techniques and styles makes your art unique. Sharing ideas with others to spark feedback can help and create ideas to improve your art. Using others responses as a way to decide on finishing touches of details helped. Show off your work throughout its process and in its finally completed state.  Lastly, use the results from that piece to push new ideas for the next project.

As I was painting, I looked up an artist who also paints dogs -- C.M. Coolidge. He is famous for his series of "dogs playing poker."  He started by drawing caricatures of people. Then he progressed to animals and finally to anthropomorphized dogs.  This is where the beginning of his series began. Using bold colors and simple but strong detail, he created Dogs Playing Poker. 

I also used bold colors to create my dog. I paid less attention to specific detail and making things look exact and more to highlights and shadows to bring life to my painting. I received critisicm from my classmates that improved my grass, giving it depth and the sense of movement.  The creative process sparks all projects and gives ideas for improvement to all artists.
Process Notes

Synectic Visions (colored pencil)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Artist of the Week -- Emily Canavan

One of my favorite art works is the pencil graph project we did.  The picture I chose to draw is of my dog, Tucker.  He is a golden retriever and is eight years old.  My older sister, Katie, decided to make a paper hat and put it on him since it was his birthday.  I took a picture of him, and started to draw it in class.  I knew it would be challenging but I was determined to do it.  

Birthday Boy (pencil)

When I first started, I used a regular mechanical pencil to outline.  I started at the top of the picture, by the hat, and worked my way down to the head.  Once I had the outline of the hat and head, I was introduced to shading pencils.  Using the pencils were not as hard as I expected.  I shaded his head and it made the drawing look more realistic.  After that, I used the mechanical pencil again to draw a rough outline of his body and again, I began shading.  It was hard to get the mix of the long fur and short fur since it all just looked like long straight fur.  I had to figure out a way to change this since he has curly and shorter hair.  The mix of a dark pencil and the eraser helped me get the look and pattern like the picture.  The very last object I worked on was the floor.  I had to shade around my dog to get a shadow effect and blend around his body.  Throughout the whole process I kept tweaking and fixing things.

I have had my dog since I was in kindergarten.  No matter what, he always is happy and brings joy to the family.  I knew the drawing would be difficult but I wanted to challenge myself with something new.  It was definitely a challenge, but I’m very proud of it.  I have spent many hours at home working on it and I’ve worked hard in class everyday.  This project took a long time, but all the effort is worth it.

My overall thoughts are mixed.  I love how the drawing looks, but I always find something I need to fix or change.  I especially go back and fix the fur on his chest.  In the picture it is curly and short which is challenging to draw and get the contrast of the white reflecting fur and dark black.  This graph drawing will help me in the future.  I taught me how to shade, use different types of pencils, and other valuable things that will help me in the future.At first, my goal was for it to be perfect and exactly like the photo.  I knew it would not be perfect, but I wanted it to be close.  Throughout the process, I realized that it would not be exactly what I wanted because I do not have the experience yet.  It was a good practice for future times.  I’m excited to learn more and compare old drawings to new ones to see how much I have changed.  The more that I practice, the better I will get.  I still have a lot of things to learn, but this was a good first step.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Morning Art -- Week 4

Today was our fourth week of Saturday Morning Art.  Student added color to ceramic projects and made holiday ornaments.  Today was a great day for making art!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Morning Art -- Week 3

 "It's glitter-ific!" said one of our young artists today. They made holiday ornaments and winter landscapes. Older students glazed ceramic snowmen, threw on the wheel and made hand-built pottery.  We had lots of help from AAHS Artsfest Club members. Today was a great day for making art!