Sculpture in the landscape or city has, traditionally, been monumental. Many
contemporary artists have become interested in the challenge to create intimate and
human-scale sculptural responses to particular sites.
Design and make a sculpture based on the themes ‘work’ or ‘play’ for an intimate
exterior location of your own choosing. The choice of site is important. The location,
function and purpose of the site, and its relationship to the formal characteristics and
materials of the sculpture, will be important in creating harmony and empathy.
Your studies should explore fully the theme and its relationship to the particular
identity of the chosen location. You should thoroughly document your thinking
throughout the project. Choice of materials and scale will be important considerations
in your final work.
You should provide evidence of the final work in its proposed location.
Research: sculpture parks, sculpture trails, Barbara Hepworth’s Garden, Ian Hamilton
Finlay, David Nash, Andy Goldsworthy and Randall-Page.
Make a study of the manner in which people lift and carry heavy objects in such activities as shopping, carrying suitcases, moving furniture, delivering goods or carrying planks. Do not work from posed figures but rather from real situations, recording through drawing the movement and effort required to carry out the task and the form the body adopts to succeed in it. Develop these studies into a sculptural work.
One of the major developments in the sculpture of the Twentieth Century has been in the appropriation of the ‘ready-made’ into the representation of the human form. Examples of artists using such approaches are Picasso, Keinholz, Fullard, and Arman. Using this approach, design an imaginative, sculptural work based on a human or animal form in which you incorporate the particular characteristics of your chosen objects, fragments or mechanical parts to heighten the identity of your subject.
PAINTING: COLOR WHEELS
This project was developed for a new approach to the study of the conventional color wheel for beginning high school art students. In previous years, students painted their names with monochromatic stripes. This year, students’ names were used with a different emphasis— primary, secondary and intermediate colors,
Materials needed were a pencil, 12×18″ (30 x 46 cm) paper, a compass, tempera paint, brushes, water and containers. Newspaper was used as a resource as well as to cover the tables. A color wheel provided a useful guide.
The students selected a letter style by looking through newspapers, magazines and type books—some created their own. Names were drawn across the paper in pencil. Students drew the letters large so they would be easier to paint. A compass point was placed in the middle of the page. A circle was drawn and divided into six sections by placing the compass point on the circle and marking off sections. The circle was divided into twelfths, and these division lines were drawn to the edges of the paper. There were twelve lines running from the middle and through the letters.
The student chose a color to start painting inside of one section of a letter. Using that same color, they painted the outer area of the opposite section. In the section next to the first, students used the next analogous color inside the letter, and in the outer area of the opposite section. Working clockwise, the students continued until the entire paper was painted. Each of the twelve sections had a color and its complement, as well as the traditional color wheel inside and outside the student’s name.
Decision-making and painting skills are improved, and geometry is reviewed in this assignment. Contrasting colors and diagonal lines add to the excitement, and the students were pleased with their colorful results.
“Artists have rendered self-portraits throughout history. With this in mind, my Art III high school students examined self-portraits by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne. Special attention was given to color usage and compositional styles. Students were then challenged to develop a self-portrait that was different from the traditional studio portrait photograph. This assignment was a final project in their painting unit.
One week before the painting was to start, each student was photographed in three to five positions. The students were encouraged to bring in props or special clothing for the photographs. As they planned their compositions, the developed photographs, along with mirrors, were handy resources. The paintings evolved in acrylics or oils (student’s choice) over a four-week period.
Much thought and effort went into the works as each student strived for a ‘unique’ look. One senior student painted half of his face as he looks currently and the other half as he thinks he’ll appear in fifty years. Research of his family members showed a tendency towards baldness in the men. A junior art student envisioned her face started to melt and slide. Other students worked with light, color and texture to add special touches of creativity. The finished portraits were a visible success and each one was truly unique!”
This project was done in my beginning black-and-white photography class, comprised of students in grades nine through twelve. The first part of the assignment is to shoot a roll of action shots. I wanted the students to look for people of all ages engaged in activities such as running, jumping, biking and skateboarding. Before shooting the assignment, we discussed the use of a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and a slower speed to blur it.
The second part of the assignment is to decide on a background for the action figures. Some students used negatives from previous assignments for their backgrounds, such as line, texture or shape; others used their action shots for their backgrounds.
The backgrounds were printed first and dry mounted onto mat board. Then the action shots were printed. The size of some of the figures was manipulated to add interest to the composition. The figures were then cut out and layers of foam core board were glued to their backs, adding a three-dimensional quality to the photographic collage. Balancing the composition was stressed when the figures were glued to the background.
Two students were interpreting the still-life I had set up into the Cubist style, I overheard one bemoaning “Why can’t we draw realistically?” The other said he enjoyed the abstract style because he couldn’t draw. I decided to make the most of the students’ sense of design rather than their drawing skills.
This lesson forces them to look at arrangement and design in a different way rather than rely on visual accuracy. They learn to mentally distort the lines, textures, shapes, and colors of the objects and visually rearrange them. To help them, review the elements and principles of design and the innovations of Cubism, then I encourage them to incorporate at least three of the Cubist inventions in their sketches.
This is an inexpensive project. The backing comes from mat board scraps, the paper is from magazines and catalogs, I buy the white glue.
Students draw a series of sketches from still-lifes that I set up around the room. They may combine the parts of one sketch with another. A selected sketch is refined by using rulers, templates, and french curves, then enlarged onto cardboard using the graph method. Next, begin tearing or cutting shapes for the paper mosaic.
We discuss the following concepts: Multiple views combining and showing several views of an object at the same time; Transparency when one object is behind another, draw the full view of both so that one is seen through the other; Projection start drawing one object then interrupt or dissect that object by drawing another object, then finish the first elsewhere in the picture; Shifting Planes ‘bend’ an object that normally cannot be bent or shift parts of it around; Part for whole cutting through an object and drawing half of its shape; Marriage of contours the right edge of one shape becomes the left edge of another.