Tuesday, January 31, 2017

AAHS student wins American Visions Award

On Sunday, January 29, several AAHS students were recognized for their artistic accomplishment at the Scholastic Art Award Ceremony at the Clemens Center in Elmira, NY.  For most of the awards given, student had prior notice, but our one "Oscar moment" is the announcement of the American Visions awards.  Of the 120 artworks recognized, jurors choose 5 Best in Show nominees.  Athens student Erica Hutchison was one of these students.  Her painting The Eye of a Mother will go on to be judged at the national level in two categories Painting and American Visions.  It will compete against the nominees from 100 state affiliates across the country.  Congratulations, Erica!
Erica with her prize-winning artwork.  She received a Gold Key in Painting and the American Visions award (Best in Show).

The Eye of a Mother (acrylic)

Artist of the Week -- Jessi Bellows

I created a comic called Emotion Devotion. I started it by making a rough draft of the pages and then redrawing them on big pieces of paper. I refined the sketches and then inked them. They they were scanned into a computer and I colored them in Photoshop.  The main idea of the comic is that A.I.S., an old robot soldier is brought back to life after being found in a junkyard by Selena, the owner of the junkyard. While A.I.S. was basically dead, a "virus" was released that gave robots emotions. This story is about A.I.S. learning about emotions and what all went down while he was dead, plus how he wound up in the junkyard in the first place. My goal was to learn more about perspective and backgrounds while working on the comic. As I continued creating pages, I got better and better. I still have a lot to learn though, and will continue to learn as I work on this comic.

Emotion Devotion (cover)

Emotion Devotion (excerpt)
My mom and I made a plushie of one of the main characters in my comic I worked on the big one but not the little one. We accidentally made the 1st one too big though. They're not perfect but they're still pretty cool.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Artist of the Week -- Suzanna Searles

A Day in the Life (acrylic)
Honorable Mention Painting
Scholastic Art Awards

Artist Statement By Suzanna Searles
The first piece of art that I did was Figment, a charcoal drawing of a still life including a clay sculpture, a roll of tape, a piggy bank, and an eraser next to a blending stump. This sort of brought me out of my element because I prefer acrylic painting over charcoal pencil drawing because I prefer smoother things like painting. For me I like to take my time with my drawings and with this I just wanted to get it done and over with because I didn’t really favor it too much. This honestly took me a good amount of time to do because of the different shades and shadows and glares from the items in the drawing.
Figment (charcoal)
With my artwork I love painting so the majority of my pieces are acrylic. I like acrylic because I like to capture the details of the picture, but the things  I like to paint are scenery pictures and animals to capture their beauty and details. For instance, with my rabbit painting I tried to capture everything about the picture especially with the texture of the fur of the rabbit because of the detail I need for it to look realistic. Honestly I struggled a little bit because I couldn't seem to get it to look like the picture but I got closer to getting it. I started to use different techniques for it and I’m starting to get the hang of it because it’s not too difficult,  but I’m definitely going to use these techniques for other projects.
I’ve always loved to draw since I was younger like since I was 9. I’ve always loved sports, but then picked up a love for art and it’s great -- I love it! With my artwork it’s all from my photos and my photos only and I get my inspiration from photos of nature and animals because of how real it is. With my photos I take them from eye point of view because that’s the way I like to take my photos. With some of my photos I take them from a bird’s eye view because they look so neat and and fascinating and it captures the beauty of the picture. With my pictures of animals since I love animals I love to capture their beauty and uniqueness and it can be incredible what you capture.
Nature (acrylic)

My goals for my artwork was to finish at least 2-3 paintings before Christmas but I had to extend it by a month or so because it became a little more difficult with the colors and trying to get them exact. I at least want to get a couple pencil drawings in before the end of the year. Maybe I'll do the pen and ink project because I've been wanting to do it for a while now but haven’t found the time to do it. If I work on my paintings during my free time more I could possibly accomplish my goal.
Overall I think I'm doing really well on my paintings because I've gotten positive feedback from others on my paintings and I feel confident about them so I'm happy about it. I’ll keep up the good work I definitely know that so I'm excited to finish them most definitely because I like them and  I want to do more paintings like these ones that I'm doing right now.
With my art work I used my cellphone to take a picture of me and my friend with a soccer ball because we were practicing for a huge soccer tournament we had coming up so I saw that and it had me intrigued. My artwork looks like a representation of my life and what I mean by that is that it states that I try to live it up to the fullest. I used color, line, shape, and texture.
My artwork was made from my phone. I used my friend to help with the idea and I used paint and I did scumbling and splatter painting for the grass. I did a lot of processes like first I would start off painting certain layers at a time one by one.
I was wondering if there is anything for me to do else to it or if I need any improvement on my work with colors or techniques. My work expresses that I have a passion for soccer. I didn’t really try to express any emotion because I don’t really know how to in that picture.
My goals as an artist are to do at least 2 or 3 more paintings by the end of the year. This piece helped me reach my goals because I’ve already done at least 4 paintings this year and that made it one more closer to my goal.
I have learned that it takes a lot of patience to paint especially with all of the detail that my subjects had. The final piece came out better than what I imagined because I didn’t think that I would get the detail that I had gotten. This piece will influence me to keep painting anything that I am up, for no matter the challenge it gives me!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Artist of the Week -- Nicole Dean

Artist Statement
    Anyone can be an artist; yes, you might not be as good as someone else, but anyone that has writing utensils in front of them can be an artist. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw people more realistically, so I decided to face that challenge instead of pushing it away. I’ve been avoiding this challenge pretty much my whole life. Recently I’ve been watching tons of youtube videos of people drawing people and showing us beginners easy steps on how to draw them and have them look more realistic. I’ve also been sketching and practicing how to draw people better and more realistically.
    Tons of artists use cell phones, cameras, or any electronic device to get their inspiration out in the open. Artists take pictures of absolutely everything because they don’t want to forget the beauty they have seen in that moment or in the past. Artists also use artistic journals to get their paintings out there. In the journals, you can write or draw anything you want; it can help artists remember something important or they can just be writing it just for fun and make the book look extremely pretty.

    I also put photography under the title of artwork. In my opinion, photography is very beautiful and great to look at. Anyone can be a photographer, but not a lot of people know the important tips in photography. There are seven tips into being a better photographer; they are: depth, perspective, don’t center the object, fill the frame with what you like, having the right lighting, connect the dots, and simplify and exaggerate.  
    In my paintings, you can tell I love flowers because I always have flowers in it somewhere; I’ll always fit in flowers. The paintings I make always mean a lot to me. I’ve always thought I was a bad painter/drawer, so I’ve practiced and practiced. I look at my paintings/drawings and I notice how much I’ve progressed and achieved just by trying a little bit out of my day. I usually only take about an hour or so to practice and it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really adds up and pays off at the end.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Students Recognized at Scholastic Art Awards

Many Athens Area High School students have been participating in regional and state competitive art programs.  The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12..  Since 1923, this program has recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated.  Since its founding, the Awards have established an amazing track record for identifying the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and prolific creative leaders. A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, John Updike, and more.

The results of this year's competition have been released and several AAHS students were recognized at the regional level, which includes several counties from New York and Pennsylvania. 

The program is very competitive.  Art teachers from our region send their best student work to be judged at the Arnot Art Museum.  From over 900 entries, they choose the best 120 works.  Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

The Eye of a Mother (acrylic) by Erica Hutchison
Gold Key in Painting

Requiem (pencil & charcoal)
Silver Key in Drawing & Illustration

Students from AAHS who were recognized include Erica Hutchison who received a Gold Key award in Painting for her acrylic The Eye of a Mother.  This piece will go on to the National level to be compete with gold key winners across the country.  Erica also received a Silver Key in Drawing & Illustration for her pencil drawing Requiem

Sydney Liechty received a Silver Key in Painting for her acrylic My Kicks

My Kicks (acrylic) by Sydney Liechty
Silver Key in Painting
Matt Nowacoski received a Silver Key in Printmaking for his linoleum block print Old Ways.  A second version of this work printed on newspaper received an Honorable Mention.

Old Ways (linoleum block print) by Matt Nowacoski
Silver Key, Printmaking
Old Ways Newspaper Print (linoleum block print)
Honorable Mention, Printmaking
Jeffrey Reagan received an Honorable Mention for his pencil drawing Put me in, Coach! 
Put me in, Coach! (pencil) by Jeffrey Reagan
Honorable Mention, Drawing & Illustration
Suzanna Searles received an Honorable Mention for her painting A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life (acrylic) by Suzanna Searles
Honorable Mention, Painting
Alexis Harford received an Honorable Mention for her painting Peekaboo!

Peekaboo! (acrylic) by Alexis Harford
Honorable Mention, Painting

Felicity Tobbe received an Honorable Mention for her drawing Lady of the Dead.

Lady of the Dead (colored pencil) by Felicity Tobbe
Honorable Mention, Drawing & Illustration

These artworks will be part of a display at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY.  These students will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Clemens Center on January 29 at noon. Following the ceremony, the artists and their families will be the first to view the works on display in the museum. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Artist of the Week -- Madison Smith

The name of my mermaid drawing is Imagination. I chose that as a title because mermaids are a mythical creature. In the actual photo I worded from, it was a picture of me on rocks at a beach, but I thought it would be cool to paint a mermaid instead because I wanted it to be more unrealistic. I created the picture by drawing the outline of the objects lightly first, and continuing to go more into detail as I progressed.  I painted a fair skinned mermaid with bright hair and gauged ears to go against stereotypes. I did this because your average mermaid with sun kissed skin and brown/blonde hair was not appealing to me. I like the idea of her having rainbow, fluorescent hair and gauged ears a lot more, and I did it in hopes that people who choose to gauge their ears or dye their hair crazy colors will be more accepted. My goals for my mermaid painting is that it isn't so realistic looking and that it doesn't look like an average mermaid. My overall thoughts on my mermaid painting is that I am very content on how it turned out and I would not change anything about it.

Imagination (watercolor)
Yin Yang (acrylic)

In the Stars (acrylic)