Category Archives: Art

Self-Portraits in Grade 4

Students in Grade 4 recently created expressive and colorful self-portraits.  Our girls began by looking at Los Angeles native and New York based visual artist, Kehinde Wiley, for inspiration.

Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, (among others), Wiley engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men found throughout the world.

Wiley’s larger than life figures disturb and interrupt tropes of portrait painting, often blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation and the critical portrayal of masculinity and physicality.

The models, dressed in their everyday clothing, are asked to assume poses found in paintings or sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings, creating a juxtaposition of the “old” inherited by the “new.”

Student self-portraits are currently on display in McKinne lounge.

To learn more about Kehinde Wiley, please visit: https://kehindewiley.com/

Quill Art in Grade 2

Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. Quilling starts with rolling a strip of paper (using a thick needle) into a coil and then pinching the coil into shapes that can be glued together.

Our students worked for 4 to 5 days to create these beautiful and color-rich pieces. This type of artwork is perfect for girls in Grade 2 because it focuses on hand-eye coordination.

“It is an art craft that the girls could do all year long, they loved it!” -Art Teacher, Mr. Witrak

Grade 5 Creates Symbolic Totem Poles

Grade 5 students looked at the different styles of Totem Poles from Alaska, British Columbia, and the Northwest and discussed their cultural and visual significance. In addition, they observed and discussed various types of symbols that were both stereotypical and more unique in order to explore ideas about how symbols create meaning, understanding, and relay information without the use of words.

Using Google Draw, students designed a personal symbol that represented or expressed some aspect of their personality, their family, or something they are passionate about. Their original symbol was then mirrored in order to expand the design into a more complex symbol. Then their designs were cut out using the laser cutter, painted, and attached to the pole. Each pole represents one of the 5th grade art sections.

From the Heart: Showcase of Art by Hamlin Faculty

There is art swimming in our midst. Of course our talented students do art every day, but we also have a highly creative faculty. Be sure to visit the “From the Heart” art display in the East Dining Room, where you will find paintings, quilts, needlepoint, mixed media, embroidery, among other fantastic artwork.

Special thanks to contributing artists: Sarah Cherney, Willow Hagge, Jessie Wayburn, Jim Lengel, Maggie Jo Feldman, Lauren Dyer, Konika Ray, Irene Gonzalez, Hannah Do, Caitlin Stevens, and Andy Witrak.

Animal Collage Artwork

Grade 5 students recently completed colorful collages showcasing animals from across the United States. Abby created a beautiful grey fox.

She shares this reflection about her artistic process:

Overall, I think I had a good experience making this collage. It was a little hard to find the right colors that I needed. What I did to get through the challenge was improvise to find a solution that worked even though it took a long time. The part of the process that I enjoyed the most was collaborating with my friends and finding a way to put the scraps onto my picture. I like the way my piece came out because I am not naturally talented at collaging, but I still was able to do this successfully. The part of the artistic process that surprised me the most was that we spent so long drawing our animals. Now that I look back at it, I think it was very important that we spent so long drawing because we need to know all of the spacing and color details.

Cave Drawing in Kindergarten

The Chauvet and Lascaux Caves in France aren’t the only places to see beautiful drawings of animals. Next week kindergarteners will be creating their own artwork inside of the Lascaux Cave in McKinne Lounge.

In preparation for this undertaking, students enjoyed the picture book The First Drawing, and pondered the importance of animals to early humans in prehistoric Europe. Our girls will explore the magic of the cave using chalk and special lights to make their depictions. Be sure to stop by for a visit inside!

Scratchboard Art

Grade 7 Elective Art recently made beautiful feather images using a technique called scratchboard.

Scratchboard is made by using a sharp tool to scratch off dark ink to reveal a white or colored layer beneath. Unlike many drawing media, where the artist adds in the mid-tones and shadows, with scratchboard the artist is working by adding in the highlights.

Scratchboard was originally invented for the purpose of reproduction in printing. It has been used for over a century reproducing images for books, magazines, newspapers, and in advertising.

Spring Flowers Bloom in Lower School

Spring has indeed sprung in Lower School. McKinne lounge is bursting with color, flowers big and small, butterflies too.

Grade 4 made all the large flowers, and first and second grades helped out with some smaller ones. Kindergarteners made the papier mâché butterflies.

Art teacher Andy Witrak shares:

“Our theme this year was garden, but we just loosely adhered to that and created a flower wall.”

Who Are You? Self-Portraits with Words and Colorful Hair

Grade 5 art students created unique self-portraits with colorful hair comprised of descriptive words. The language of the hair served to showcase the personalities of each girl.

The project had 5 key steps:

1) Take a photograph of yourself.

2) Trace the photograph in Keynote. Delete the photograph and leave the tracing. Print out the traced image.

3) Use the technique of scale and proportion to create a grid on both the traced image and on the paper.

4) Create a contour line drawing using correct face proportions.

5) Add descriptive words about yourself to the hair.

Grade 5 Recreates Gary Larson Cartoons

Recently, Grade 5 students worked to enlarge and recreate an image by Gary Larson using the grid method. They made a grid on a small image and on a large piece of paper. Students then copied and enlarged the original image.

The grid method is used to create accurate proportions. Proportion is the relationship of two or more elements in a design and how they compare with one another. Using a grid is a popular way to ensure that the proportions and layout of a drawing are correct. It is particularly useful when accuracy is important.

Gary Larson is an American cartoonist. He is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 1,900 newspapers for fifteen years. The series ended with Larson’s retirement on January 1, 1995.