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Art 1

Annemarie McElhattan



Greetings Students and Family,


Welcome! We are going to have another great year at Stone Valley in Art! On this site you will find: handouts, assignments, grades and student work. Notice that on the left column are handouts (including syllabus), and a link to my pinterest account which holds images linked to assignments. The art dept. can always use a variety of items you might otherwise recycle: newspapers and magazines and yogurt and plastic cups. This year we will embark on a new level of artist research with iPads available to students in the classroom to inform and inspire projects. Artists in my classroom create workbooks (a content-rich sketchbook) which inform all of their studio projects, we research and practice; and our effort is as valuable as our outcomes. Please feel free to browse last years excellent examples of student work: they have done great things!

Looking forward to working with you!
Mrs. Mac (McElhattan)

Notan Collages

Notan is a Japanese word meaning dark-light. The word, however, means more than that. The principle of Notan as used here must be further defined as the interaction between positive (light) and negative (dark) space.


To say 'goodbye' to the old Stone Valley buildings students wrote and sketched about memories they had on campus, then chose a site and created a tape mural commemorating good times at SVMS!


Art One students learned the art of mixing colors with acrylic paint this semester, each student creating a skin color from primary colors. 


Congratulations to artists Mckenna Blanton, Cole Lourenco and Jennifer Jin (third place winner!) for participation in the Expressionism to Abstraction Exhibit at the Village Theater Gallery.

Mckenna Blanton
Mckenna Blanton
Cole Lourenco
Cole Lourenco




Each artwork you produce reflects a variety of skill sets: concept, creativity, craft and cooperation. Some works use one skill more than another; bellow each are defined and illustrated:


CONCEPT: the message, the idea, the plan. Developing the concept for a piece of art can happen anywhere, inspiration can come from culture, literature, music and art. Political or societal events motivate artists to express themselves. Many artists draw upon personal experiences to create their work. Sometimes it is as simple as finding a colorful shell on a beach that gets the creative juices flowing...that idea, how you develop and manipulate it is the concept generating the work, and the success of the work depends on how you bring the idea to life.

· Words: Forming an idea visually is tough and sometimes words are a good way to encourage an idea to take shape. Describing it to someone, writing it down as a list, descriptively, or as a letter to your-self can lay out a path to how the project will develop.

· Artist Research: Choose an artist whose style, subject matter or technique may inform your work. Create an inspiration page in your sketchbook about the: what and why you like their work...

· Sketch: pursuing multiple options for a single idea allows you to think outside the box-sometimes the first solution isn’t the strongest one.


CREATIVITY: the ability to use the imagination to develop an idea. Finding a unique way to handle subject matter can be tough, but this is what distinguishes your individuality as an artist! Creativity is the unique expression of your concept. Find unusual materials, present an odd point of view, stylize imagery, or distort color and shape to suit your concept and to ensure originality. While it is perfectly ok to copy artist's work in a sketchbook to learn technique (encouraged!), we exhibit work that is original! As an artist, you express your opinion and point of view through your work-that is what makes it powerful and unique capturing the attention of your audience!


CRAFT: technique, skill in making something by hand. Technique is so important. Ever heard the expression "It's not what you say, but how you say it..."? It's true! No matter how great an idea is, until you can impressively express it-it will not interest the viewer. This doesn't mean that your work has to be representational/realistic, or (gasp!) beautiful -it means that you master the technique it takes to serve the idea you are expressing. So if you are going for a wild, violent and messy message; then master paint splattering, layering and scribbling and use materials that will give you that distressed chaotic look! The more techniques you learn, the more tools you have to express yourself-the more sophisticated your solutions become. So practice, practice, practice!


COOPERATION: work ethic, community building, care for materials and space. Many of us imagine the artist as a singular figure pining away at their private endeavor, but all artists are attempting to engage in communication and however solitary that effort is, they are not in a vacuum! As student artists we have much to gain from working together. In this class many projects will require group work. Respecting and promoting each-other’s efforts will be key to the success of the group! As a class we share materials and a space, the respect of each is also necessary for the group to succeed.




Both of these images are artworks by Pablo Picasso. (top: Bull’s Head 1942, found object sculpture, bottom: Bullfight III, 1959, ink on paper).


Though they both portray similar subject matter, they were conceived in totally different ways. How did Picasso use concept, creativity and craft in each piece?