Artists express themselves through variety of media

A look at what art students are learning, creating

Junior Steffannie Maynard’s watercolor drawing. This artwork features what appears to be a detailed Stag on a watercolor background. It captures the concept of mixed-media artwork perfectly.

by Lyn Cheely, Staff Writer

Students among a number of art classes have created, or are in the process of creating, a diverse collection of artwork with the purposes of self-improvement and artistic expression.

Recent and current projects include oil pastel self-portraits, contour line drawings, color wheels, charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings and portraits, art history and corresponding projects and demonstrations of basic and advanced sculpture and ceramics techniques.

“We talked about creating a profile view of the human face,” art teacher Mrs. Jeffrey said. “We talked about specific coloring techniques and blending techniques; blending multiple colors, blending black with other colors to create different shades, working with contour lines to give projects a more realistic appearance. I wanted to get my students more familiar with different techniques and the fact that creating artwork is a process of building up layers of work to create a finished piece.”  

Goals for personal and classwide development across these projects include mastering realism in drawings and paintings, gradually improving shading and contour line skills, gaining a better understanding of how historical figures have shaped artistic concepts as we know them, and working on the concept of “growth mindset”; erasing words such as “can’t” and replacing them with the ideas of trying your best to improve your weaknesses, and focusing on the positive aspects of your work rather than the negative.

“It helps a lot to incorporate growth mindset into art, because otherwise it keeps students from trying new things,” art teacher Mrs. Cason said. “If they have the mindset that if they fail at something or are struggling with something, but will keep trying so that they eventually get there, they will be able to accomplish a skill or technique; it will help them, in general, to become a better artists.”

For some art students, especially sophomore Madison Berglund, these classes have served as outlets for their “inner creativity” and passions, in addition to being breaks from “core subjects” such as math or science. 

My artwork means a lot to me.

— Madison Berglund

“My artwork means a lot to me,” Berglund said. “It allows me to express myself in ways that I probably couldn’t if I wasn’t in an art class, and with so many different options in how I can utilize my skills, I feel like my art makes me free. I’m proud of it, and it reflects me, my personality.”

In addition to serving as outlets for creativity and self expression, these projects have also served as ways for students, like Edna Luna, to personally connect meaningful aspects of their lives to what they create in the classroom.

“I made my repetition painting out of birds, because the first animals that came to mind when I learned about the project were the parrots I raise at home,” Luna said. “I painted them because I love them.”