Archive for 2014

May 2014
     I will one day post the notes from my sketchbook. I had Art History with Sands again during the spring semester! That class was super fun, I learned a lot, and I retained a lot! Anyways, we took a trip to the Smithsonian Art Museum in May and here are some highlights: 

Alexander Calder


Another Calder
(He's one of my favorite artists.)

Jasper Johns
(who makes great lunches)

Renoir's Red Ribbons
(try saying that five times fast)




Watson and the Shark by John Copley

This was just so cool. I loved the colors of the flags.
(I don't know the artist's name)

(Can you tell I love Calder?)




1. The project that was the most successful was my Time as an Element project. The theme was to somehow incorporate time into our art. I had an idea to do timestamps, but it was too extensive. I chose to reflect time as an hourglass, with beads as the timer. I covered the beads with dates off of receipts I've collected. This project took the most work and problem solving, from cleaning off the glass bottles to figuring out how to sculpt the hourglass and how to get everything connected. The materials I used included glass wine bottles, white beads, receipts, glue, wooden rods, black paint, wood, white paint, and hot glue. I made everything size-wise proportional to the wine bottles. My technique was to just go with the flow and see which materials fit and worked with my idea.

2.  I overcame a lot of obstacles throughout the year. Most of my projects were a second idea I had because the first didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I want to discuss my first project, where I did stick with my original plan. The theme was Culture. I had an idea to recreate the Starbucks symbol. I was only going to recreate it once, but I went along with Mr. Sands' idea to create three characters. I had to also decide on the text to replace the logo. I came up with a few sketches and imported them onto Photoshop. Here was where the difficulty lied- I only ever used Photoshop once before. I had to use Google and ask friends how to add color and text and basically everything. Once I learned a skill, I used it. I eventually got to use a drawing tablet and stylus. My final hurdle was the text. I couldn't get it to curve at the right angle properly, so I had to type every letter out.

3. Two of my projects displayed my growth as an artist- Intertexuality and Perspective. For my Intertexuality project, I took pictures of my friend dressed up as Katniss from The Hunger Games and combined it with the Target logo. My photography skills are getting a lot better and the key word here is practice! The more I practice, the better my technique gets. I know how to find good lighting and angles that bring out the best of my subject. My Perspective project has a lot of artistic vision behind it. It was based off of the novella Anthem, written by Ayn Rand. I sculpted the letter "I" out of wire and book pages. My use of materials was a re-do, so I was better prepared and had previous practice. Because I had practice with photography and the wire & paper mâché, the final projects turned out wonderful.

4.  This semester in art, we got an assigned theme and were allowed to choose our subject and materials freely. I think it was better for students in higher-level art, like Art 3 or 4. Students in the first two art classes are still learning about different styles, techniques, and materials to use. As honor students, we better understand technique and materials. I like having the freedom to choose and create an original art work that doesn't mimic any of my peer's. I had a ton of ideas and I could think about the messages I really wanted to convey, as evident in my Perspective and Culture projects. However, even if I am an Art 3 student, there were still new materials and techniques to learn, like Photoshop or spray-painting. I would have liked it more if we had breaks in-between projects to learn a new technique, have a mini-project, or have warm-ups, as a class. That way, we could gain even more knowledge and have a blast to the past of we-all-have-similar-artwork. Before, we were always told which materials and techniques to use, but now, we're given so much freedom that it's hard to think about what we want to do. What I want to do. That's one of the challenging things about this class- but also why this is an honors class. :)

Art 3 Final Full View

Next project- Perspective.

What you expect-
Perspective (n.): a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface

What I thought of-
Perspective (n.): the state of one's ideas; a way of regarding situations or facts and judging their relative importance

(Thank you to our friends at for providing definitions.)

Some of my ideas included: build a snowgloble, paint the view from a camera, create something from Anthem, build Pandora's box with Prometheus and clay people,cover-up glasses (paint on them so it shows you something when you wear them), and paint a person/monster from a child's perspective.(sketchbook pic)

I decided to go with creating something from Anthem. It is one of my favorite stories, after all. It's a novella written by Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged) set in a dystopian future where the word "I" doesn't exist. They use "We" to refer to themselves as well as their friends and brothers. The main character finds the word "I" in a book and is overwhelmed. People were burned alive for discovering "I" and it's significance. I happen to have two copies of the more pages to rip out. :D

This also is a re-do (and layers! So many themes!). In eighth grade, my art class created lamps. Our teacher took blocks of wood and drilled a big hole (for lightbulbs or fairy lights to fit) and four small holes (for the wire.) We connected the wire and shaped our lamps however we wanted, vertically. We used more wire horizontally, to created a criss-cross pattern for stability. After that, we layered white tissue paper over the wire. Finally, we used colored tissue paper. (And I added gold glitter.) (pics)

I wanted to recreate a lamp using the techniques used in middle school. I had my dad's help with drilling holes and I wired and paper mâchéd. I shaped the wire into the letter "I" because the theme of Anthem deals with oneself and ego. I also wanted room to add lightbulbs because the main character (re)discovers electricity and that is an important part of the story. (pics)

I made the final layer out of ripped pages from the novella. I went through the story and chose pages I felt were important. (pics)

Out of the five characteristics of art, I honed in on concept and emotion. My concept was well thought out and the emotion is there for those who read Anthem. If you haven't done so, I highly recommend reading it. It's pretty short (only 100 pages or so) and the themes presented are interesting to think about.

Front side

Back side

I give you--LIGHT!


Search for I Full View

Our next project- layering!

Layer (v): to form or arrange in layers
(Thank you!)

Some of my ideas for this project were (insert sketchbook pic) to scrapbook, do gravestone rubbings, paint overlapping names, graffiti, cut out of a book, and to do a crayon-drip sculpture.

I firstly chose to cut of a book. I picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and set to work. I wanted to make the pages sort of like a scrapbook.

(Wow, ignore my unprepared face.)

After a week or so, I realized my project was too daunting and I didn't like how it was turning out. I scrapped it. (haha, ironic.)

I went with my other idea, a crayon-drip. I had done one previously, about a year or so ago, when they started popping up on the web. (pic)

So this kinda goes with the re-do theme as well.

I used crayola and unnamed regular crayons the last time. The unnamed ones melted faster than crayola (because the wax wasn't high quality.) This time, I only used the unnamed brands.

The risk: Instead of just gluing the crayons on horizontally like so many before, I wanted to hot glue them vertically. I grouped some colors together and hot glued them down. It looked like a city...and that was perfect. (pics)

After gluing them, I used the heat gun (not a hairdryer). Last time, it took me an hour to melt the crayons, this time, only twenty minutes or so. This is in part to the higher heat and the lower quality of the wax. (insert pics)

Of the five characteristics of great art, I think I incorporated concept and newness. The idea to make vertically melt the crayons hasn't been seen before.

Mr. Sands thought it looks like a post-apocalyptic city.

Onions Full View


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