Saturday, January 29, 2011

TraillWorks Student Saturday

Harry the duck interpreted by four new students, a money tree leaf studied, a sea turtle rendered in color, and abstract tile designs are some of the many works created by just a few of TraillWorks' students in the fall of 2010. Read on to learn about the works, their intent and process.

Harry in the Attic, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Katelyn, Age 10
Harry Inside / Outside, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Cailey, Age 10

In Katelyn's Harry, check out all of the textures, the depth of the rooms, and the sense of foreground emphasized by the roof of the dollhouse. Way to go Katelyn on an inventive composition, theme, and creative use of texture and color.
Cailey's Harry also explores interiors and exteriors, a little more abstractly. In her piece Harry is looking beyond a window from the inside out, looking into an artist's studio. Check out her incredible use of markered contour lines, unity of colors and very interesting structure to her artwork.

Farmland, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Maddie, Age 6
McDonald's Harry, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Ava, Age 6
Can you find the ducks in Maddie's and Ava's works above? They're in there. But what emerged in both are two very different visions. Maddie turned her work into a rolling farm filled with vivid blues, purples, and pinks, while Ava was influenced by McDonald's, repeating large m's and other architectural forms, using an earthier palette of pinks, browns, and blacks, with a hint of pink.

Leaf Series, 8" x 24", Mixed Media, ©2010 Rachel, Age 7
Leaf Series, 24" x 8", Colored and Pastel Pencils, ©2010 Noa, Age 9
The next two pieces are two examples of serial leaf drawings many of my students did in the fall. All used leaves from the studio's money tree for reference, leaving my tree quite plucked and pruned in an odd shape! But, all for a good purpose. Students had the option of using a variety of colored surfaces, colored pencils, pastels, and other drawing materials. The emphasis of the piece was on drawing the leaf from observation and developing a transition of some sort. The finished works were all mounted on foam core and then either left white, as in Noa's case, or collaged, painted, or drew into the background to unify the three pieces and bind them together with sewn elements, simple bookmaking techniques, as in Rachel's.

Sea Turtles, 16" x 12", Colored Pencil on Watercolor, ©2010 Will, Age 10

Will's artwork was influenced by a book he brought into class on sea turtles. He's a very creative kid who now has an ongoing sketchbook of drawings and ideas, so often his projects are developed by his interests. This piece is composed of actually several parts, one not seen. I introduced Will to the art of salt and watercolor to create a background tone which would mimic the sea. He then composed the picture, drawing the main sea turtle from reference photo, and then inventing the other fish! This was completed with colored pencils. The partner piece not shown is a clay sculpture of a sea turtle. 

Crayon Reflection, 20" x 16", Acrylic on Canvas, ©2010 Phoebe Nezamis, Age 15

Finally, the painting above was recently finished by Phoebe, a freshman in high school. Phoebe's been taking lessons with her mom and brother since last summer and is also a very creative thinker. The project intent was to develop a still life painting in acrylic, after learning to mix colors in gouache and draw an object from observation in charcoal. After several, maybe ten or more, thumbnail sketches Phoebe came up with this clever composition which utilized a mirror! Super challenging! She did an excellent job at replicating the colors of the crayons and then coming up with an engaging compositional structure. Her idea was somewhat influenced by Wayne Thiebaud, and probably a little of Richard Diebenkorn. The yellow background was my suggestion, as one of several options. What a stunning piece! 

My students currently are working on some exciting pieces and getting ready for our TraillWorks Student Show set for March, coinciding with Youth Art Month. So look for my Student Saturday post next month with info about the exhibit and more new student work. 

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