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A Drawing Performance 

I asked my Grade 11 students to experiment with three techniques that they hadn't used before for homework. One of my students, Olivia, took this request to an amazing level & the resulting artwork became part performance and part charcoal drawing. See the progression of the artwork below: 

Olivia started off by doing some yoga exercises to warm up.


My new obsession - the Sktchy app for iphone 

I have been obsessed by the Sktchy app for iphone since early December when I first discovered it.

The Miami newstime blog describes its function as follows: "It allows anyone from any corner of the world to upload their own image and serve as inspiration for a portrait -- or on the flip side, inspire artists, both professional and amateur, to draw a portrait...But let's be clear about one thing: Sktchy doesn't actually feature any drawing tools -- this isn't Draw Something. Artists draw portraits in real life, so to speak, and then upload them to the app."

I have found the sktchy community to be encouraging and supportive of all levels of artists - Professional, amateurs and beginners. Below are two drawings I have made of the people (artists) who belong to the community:

I did the above drawing at the IEB conference in Joburg & photographed it at the airport on the way home.

The reference for the drawing is below :

The image above was drawin in a staff workshop at the begiinning of term.

At the end of January I was featured on the Sktchy blog - you can read the article & see more of my drawings by clicking here.  

After experimenting throughout December with the app - drawing people from all corners of the globe from their uploaded "selfies" & having my portrait drawn by strangers, I decided to introduce my students to the app.  The following two portraits are two fun interpretations artists have done inspired by my 'selfies'.

The Sktchy app has been an absolute success with my Grade 9 & 10 classes - they all have ipads, so were able to download the app on to their ipads & upload their drawings via their ipads. Below are some of the drawings my students have uploaded to the app:


Everyone wants to blog - Art @ DGC 

The Grade 10 students at our school all have ipads. We introduced an ipad program at the school last year when they were in their Grade 9 year. I use the ipads extensively in teaching art, not only for research, but for creating art related products on various apps like "Procreate" and "thinglink". 

I wanted to maximise the ipads in Art history so I thought my students could capture our discussions about artworks & take a turn to summarise each lesson. I have promised them a 5% bonus on any ONE item of their own choice handed in for assessment this term. The reception of my blogging proposal was lukewarm & after the incentive was offered to them it suddenly heated up - now everyone wants to blog :) 

Two girls have already submitted their blog posts:

Head over there & check out what they have written (all in their own words). I go in & just check spelling & on occasion, add an extra image if I think the blog post needs it.


Exciting news from Apple in Education 

I received the following e-mail yesterday: 

Dear Joan


The project you entered is one of the finalists for the Curriculum Projects Gr 8-9 category. We would appreciate it if you and your student, Chia Chi Chen could join us at the awards ceremony. 

The ceremony is taking place on 27 November 2013 at II Grande Lounge, Montecasino at 18:30.

This project was inspired by “Work of Art series – the next great artist” Series 2 Episode 9.  (In this episode the artists visit a small town in New York’s Hudson Valley & must then create a portrait of a resident.)

I let my students watch this episode & then told them to duplicate this experience in our own school/social context.  

The Grade 9 students had to create portrait artwork based on an interview conducted with someone they knew (each of my classes were given slightly different groups from which to select to avoid overlap). They were encouraged to film their interviews & hand in a transcript, record the planning of the artwork, and the making of the piece. All of the above mentioned steps were to be presented in either Keynote or iMovie format.

They also had to include their thinking or rationale behind the artwork.  The physical artwork had to be handed in for assessment. 

Hold thumbs for us! 


Three Chandeliers 

Three of my students built chandeliers in response to the Visual Arts IEB exam topic “Ordinary/Extraordinary”   

Lauren’s very dramatic chandelier inhabits a central spot in my art room. Her work raises awareness about how we are polluting our environment with plastic objects. She draws a comparison between our plastic materialistic lifestyle and this enormous lavish but essentially plastic chandelier. She coloured this chandelier black to make it seem ominous. 

Some of the objects like the guns hint at the destruction we impose on our environment. The inclusion of the Barbie dolls hint at how self-absorbed we are & how we focus on superficial issues instead of the real issues that plague our society today.   

Sarah saw glass as a metaphor for our own lives. We enter life “perfect, clear and unblemished” & as we live we are thrown into the sea of life & often emerge “blemished, broken and clouded over”.   

 Despite this she thought the glass (and humans) remains beautiful and unique & even more so after every bump and scratch.

Sarah collected all of the glass pieces herself on Durban beaches & on some of them transferred her own photographs on to the surface further personalising this artwork. 

I love that she used the natural resource that is available only to a sea-side city to make this extraordinary artwork.

Cyan was fascinated as a child by growing salt crystals in her science lessons. She did some research on visual artists who work with crystals & came across Roger Hiorn’s work who makes art by coating items in copper sulfate.   

She immediately decided she wanted to work in this material since it also makes reference to her name. She did all of her experimentation at home & grew crystals on string & then brought a large vat of copper sulfate to school to grow the chandelier & then disaster struck.  

The conditions at school were wrong. She had to take the solution home & boil the solution & then put them under an air-conditioner to shock them into growing. Luckily this worked & she managed to grow enough crystals to assemble the chandelier in time for our examiner’s arrival.