A place to see what is happening in Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted and Creative

Friday, September 26, 2008

Three week's work

6 year old (almost 7) “K” has been working for three weeks on this embroidery, ever since the Fabrics and Fibers center opened.

10 minute bird collage

With ten minutes remaining in class following a long interactive, multi-media presentation to introduce the idea of poetic inspiration for artists, this middle school student produced a fanciful bird image using cut and torn paper. “A present for my grandmother,” he reported. Since most of the class period was given over to discussion and brainstorming, I think this student NEEDED to MAKE some art, and not just TALK about art!

Girl Power

These first grade girls worked side by side to create “Art Shields.” In this picture, they have flipped the shields to the back, to demonstrate how they stay on their arms. The fronts are also decorated with colorful gummed-tape (which they call “lick and stick”.) Aesthetic protection?

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Artistic Behavior: Using references

This 11 year old student started a small, articulated figure the previous week. It was constructed from modified cardboard tubes and had a laser-wielding arm that moved up and down. The following week, he arrived with a color print-out from home, depicting the character he was interpreting with his sculpture. He changed the arm, and made several other modifications, remarking that it was easier to work when he had the visual reference, rather than just relying on memory.
We often stop and consider that although some artists work from memory, and others from imagination, it is often to an artist’s advantage to use various reference materials to inform their work.

Up Up...and Away?

I was slow to reach for my camera...but a hot air balloon landed right outside my window on Thursday! I will be quicker next time (it was the second time in two days that it landed at school.)

Little Bear

9 year old “E” is constructing a stuffed bear, called "Flippy-Teddy," at the newly-opened Fabrics and Fibers Center. Since this picture was taken, a body has been added.
Various sewing and weaving projects are underway, and students are already asking when the sewing machine will be available.
One student is working on yards and yards or rich blue fabric, carried in from home, to create a hooded cape for Halloween.

All American

“K” will turn six next week. This is her “American Dinosaur,” made from clay and painted in acrylic. “You can tell that it is an American dinosaur because it has red, white and blue!”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

RMS Wednesday Workshop: Cold Case Renaissance

Participants in Nan’s Wednesday workshop dragged four large appliance boxes outside on Wednesday, Sept 10, to attempt to create cameras obscuras (plural from the Latin, according to “M”.) Could an image be projected inside the box, clear enough and focused enough to draw from? The sun danced in and out of the clouds, and the wind came up near the end of the session and closed it down, but the wondrous, magical upside-down and backward images appeared.
Workshop participants concluded that it is possible that this simple technology may have informed renaissance artists, but that more research and more experiments would be necessary to produce the sort of clear, focused images depicted in David Hockney’s book; Secret Knowledge. Practice and patience are also required to make a competent drawing from these projected images.
Upside-down, backward drawing of "R" by "N," drawn by tracing the projected image cast on the inside of an appliance box, created by light passing through a small "pinhole."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Hand-building with clay: the joy of feeling the cool, soft terra cotta and forming it this way and that. The drying shelf in the clay center is full and the kiln is almost ready for the first firing of the year. In the RMS art studio, there are many clay artists.

hitting the floor running: first day back

My new middle school class tumbled into the art room for their first day of art last Tuesday and it was as if they never left. One student was carrying his shiny black star craft, almost finished before the summer “interruption,” One reached for his “moon station”, on the shelf where he left it last June, and the two plugged in the hot glue guns and started in. Across the room, a student who before summer interruption was involved in acrylic paintings on canvas board, set up his palette and began. My youngest student prepared to use the potter’s wheel (a scramble for me because I hadn’t planned on even opening the clay center yet!) and proceeded to instruct a new student in the finer points of wheel throwing. There was “J,” over at the drawing center, starting a new, intricate line drawing with his favorite fine-tipped markers, as two friends settled in at the clay table with some new hand-building projects. Two confirmed digital-artists grabbed seats in the computer center and was joined by another new student, eager to try a computer program he had heard about but “never had a chance to try before.” A dedicated collage artist decided instead to try his hand at puppet-making, and his collage-partner headed to the Construction/Sculpture Center, to make a light-saber handle. ”D,” who spent many classes last spring making complicated puppets, arrived with plans for a series of puppets to compliment those waiting at home. He got right to work mixing papier mache’.
I looked around with pride and wonder at this motivated, capable, self-directed group of young artists on their first day of art. Our Choice-Based art studio was humming with activity and off to a grand start.

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