Part II

Student Profiles and Interviews

Prepared by Katina Trimborn

Hazel

Brittany B

Kyle

Cody

Brittney O

Summary of Prequestionnaire and Art Conceptions

Suggestions for improvement to Questionnaire & Add Follow-Up Interviews

Comparison of Students’ Self Art Criticism

Suggestions for Improvement Of Art Criticism Questionnaire & Session

 

There are 21 students in Mrs. Tabor’s drawing and painting class. Ten of these students are male, and eleven are female. This class includes both 8th and 9th graders, and since it is an advanced class all of the students have had some other art class or classes in middle school. There are a variety of students in this class, all from varied backgrounds and many even from other states or countries. Of the 21 students, 4 are of Hispanic descent, 4 are Asian, and one student is even from Bolivia, although most are Caucasian. Five students were given the pre-questionnaire. Two of these students were male and three were female, and their ages range from 13-15 years old. Mrs. T chose these students because within the group there was a variety in gender, race, age, and prior art experiences.

 

Hazel is a 14-year-old Filipino student in the 9th grade. She dresses very neatly, typically wearing jeans and a nice, but casual t-shirt. She is very introverted but prolific in speaking when asked specific questions, especially when asked to write her ideas down on paper. She enjoys a variety of art media and was very interested in both art making and art history. Hazel described art as “ a way of expressing your feelings/imagination by drawing/painting it on an object.” She prefers to work in pen and pencil, although she said that she also stated that she enjoys exploring a variety of media. Her favorite style of work is impressionistic, and she prefers the work of Monet. Hazel also stated that she enjoys working on art outside of class time, and she does this frequently in her spare time.

 

Brittany B. is a 13-year-old Caucasian student in the 8th grade. She is incredibly shy, and seemed unconfident when speaking in front of the entire class, although she spoke well on a one to one basis. She dresses very casually and seems to be well liked by the class. When asked to define art, Brittany described it is a “form of self-expression, showing your feelings and emotions.” She took this class in order to improve her skills in art. As far as art preferences, she chose paint as her favorite media and disliked using pen and pencil. Her favorite artists was Lichtenstein, although she said that she prefers abstract art overall. She frequently creates art outside of the classroom, although she has taken only one other art class thus far in Middle School. She plans on taking many more classes though, and also to continue her artistic endeavors in high school.

 

Kyle is a 15-year-old Caucasian 9th grade student. He is very outgoing, and seems to have many friends within the classroom. He seems to be the class comedian, and frequently makes jokes through many of the classes. Despite his popularity, Kyle uses time well during class, although he works very slowly. He frequently becomes immersed in details, creates small-scale pictures, and does not think of his work on a larger scale. He prefers painting and drawing, and dislikes three-dimensional media such as clay and plaster. Kyle prefers abstract works, and stated that Picasso is his favorite artist, although he did not state any reasons for this. He creates art outside of class time occasionally, and his only complaint about the class was that there was not enough time to complete projects. This may have been because he often seems to get stuck on problems that he comes across in his drawings, and cannot work around until they are perfected. He did not waste time, but rather had trouble utilizing the class time completely due to his focus on perfection.

 

Cody is a 15-year-old Caucasian student also in the 9th grade. He is an incredibly quiet student, and barely spoke with any of the other students during class time. He is very focused during class time, and typically spends much of the class drawing and looking through examples. Although Cody is very capable of drawing, he often finds comfort in copying from other works, possibly due to a lack of confidence in his abilities. Cody prefers to use pen, pencil and paint to create art, although he dislikes pastels and charcoals. His favorite style of art is realistic, although when asked to choose a favorite artist, he chose Monet. He creates art outside of the class on occasion, and stated that it was definitely one of his main interests. One of his requests for change in the classroom was based on having more time to complete the projects, although much of the time he spent in class was looking at other works, and not actually creating his own work.

 

Brittney O. is a 13-year-old Caucasian student in the 8th grade. She is very outgoing, and seems to be one of the more popular students in the class. She typically dresses in a very trendy manner, wearing a skirt and a dressy top. She works during most of the class time, but also seems to talk for a good portion. Although she enjoys art, she feels more comfortable working in three-dimensional media, and prefers to spend less time drawing and painting. Despite this, she makes an adequate effort in her projects. She also prefers realism, which may be the cause of her frustrations with her own drawings. She chose Monet as her favorite artist and stated that his work inspired her to work harder to become a better artist. She creates art out of the classroom sometimes, and feels that the most beneficial way to improve the classroom is to have more time to complete projects.

 

SUMMARY Pre-questionnaire Art Conceptions

In regards to art conceptions, three (60%)of the five students agreed that art was a form of self-expression. One student (20%) remarked that art could be anything from the shirt on your back to a piece of silverware, and the final student declined answering this portion. Every one of the students (100%)took this class in order to improve skills, although some of them had more than this single purpose. One student (20%) also remarked that the class was taken for credit and that it would be a fun and easy class. Two other students (40%) said that the teacher played an important role in why they took this drawing and painting class.

 

The response to questions pertaining to art preferences had an eclectic spectrum of responses among the students. Two (40%) of the students preferred paint, two (40%) preferred pencil/pen, and one (20%) student marked the other category explaining his fondness to painting and drawing. In terms of the least favorite media to use, one student (20%) chose clay, one (20%) chose paint, one (20%) chose pencil, one (20%) charcoal, none (0%) collage and two (40%) chose the category other. Two of the students (40%) preferred realistic works, two (40%) chose abstract, and one (20%)chose impressionism. In terms of their favorite artists, three (60%) students chose Monet, one chose Picasso (20%) and one chose Lichtenstein (20%).

 

When questioned about the classroom, 3 students (60%) felt that it would be improved if there were more time to complete the projects. One student (20%) was content with the current situation and one student (20%) marked other, explaining that more supplies would be beneficial to the class. Every one of the students surveyed (100%) had a class with Mrs. T. prior to this drawing and painting class. Every student (100%) had taken Intro to Art; two students (40%) had previously taken ceramics.

 

Suggestions for improvement of Questionnaire & Add Follow-Up Interviews: This questionnaire worked well although after giving it to the students, I would make some amendments. Many of the students did not fill much in on the blank spaces, so it may have been better to include less of the spaces without any multiple choice options. I also may have explained more thoroughly the purpose of this questionnaire, because many of the students were filling it out as if there were a right and wrong answer, more like a test than a survey. A more detailed explanation of the nature of this project, and a reassurance that their teacher would not see these may have helped to improve the quality of the answers provided by the participant students. Besides those few complications, this survey helped me in understanding the students, their art backgrounds, orientations, preferences, and conceptions.

 

COMPARISON

of Students’ Self Art Criticism

Four students were given the post-questionnaire after the final portion of their project was completed. This questionnaire required them to answer questions about their own work, using description, analysis, interpretation and judgment. These four students were chosen from the five that were given the pre-questionnaire. The participants in this portion included Hazel, Brittany B., Brittney O., and Cody.

Describe Subject Matter: Each of the students who were interviewed and given the self evaluation survey were able to describe their works as Surrealistic, and to name some of the elements of fantasy that were definitive elements in creating this Surrealistic effect. Descriptions of subject matter are from left to right: Hazel: has a had pointing to the right used a clock with her crossed hands, and

Art Elements: Students then described the art elements in their drawings. Brittany B. said that the color red dominated her artwork because that was the color of the checkerboard background, but that there was also shades of black and white created in the pencil renderings she included in this drawing. [BLACK & WHITE ARE NOT COLORS BUT VALUES. NEED ANOTHER QUESTION] Brittney O. felt that reds dominated her work although she did not mention black or gray shades, probably because she had very few of them present in her final piece. Hazel chose purple as the dominant color in her work, and her piece incorporated more color than many of the pieces within the class. Cody chose black and white as the dominant colors due to the fact that he did not use any colors in his drawing and used only shades of gray.

Cody described the lines that he used to create his work as being both straight and curvy. Brittany B. and Brittney O. both felt that they used mostly straight lines in their work, while Hazel felt that the majority of the lines in her piece were curvy. In terms of the dominant shapes, three of the four surveyed students chose geometric shapes as the main type of shape used in their work, while Brittney O. felt that the shapes in her work were predominately geometric

Analyze Relationships: Each of the students surveyed identified their final drawing as being made by pencil, although Hazel more specifically state that she also used prisma colors. Use of Color: Cody and Hazel described their drawings as being both bright and dull, while Brittney O. and Brittany B. determined that their pieces were bright. The project did not focus on Color schemes. Colors were used stereotypically; such as red checks and rainbows. Composition: Hazel felt that the shapes in her piece were arranged symmetrically, asymmetrically, in a circular patter and on a grid. Cody felt that his arrangement was random while Brittney O. and Brittany B. felt that their pieces had an asymmetrical arrangement.

Interpret Meanings & Symbols: Each of the students had very different responses to the interpretation portion of this questionnaire, probably because there were no multiple-choice questions included. Hazel described the main symbols within her piece as butterflies, rainbows, clocks and gears. Despite all of the color that she used to create her Surrealistic portrait, she stated that none of the colors had symbolic meaning, but were instead realistic in nature. Brittney O. described strawberries as the main symbol in her piece, and these represented her favorite fruit is strawberries. She said that red had a symbolic meaning because it was her favorite color, and the drawing was meant to represent her, although she described the drawing as realistic in nature. Brittany B. said that no symbols were included in her work, but had a detailed explanation of the symbolic meaning of the color red within her work. She said that red is one of the warm colors and symbolizes the warmth of her family gathering around a picnic, the theme of her drawing. When questioned about the symbols used in his drawing, Cody said that he used hockey pucks, a skate, and a hockey stick. He was the only student of those questioned who did not use color in his piece, and therefore stated that the colors had no symbolic meaning.

This portion of the questionnaire presented the most problem in invoking response from the students. They seemed to have trouble recognizing the difference between symbols and the depicted subject matter. Those who used color used it a realistic manner, and even after I gave an example of the symbolic use of color, some of them did not understand the concept and were therefore unable to answer this question. I need to give more examples of a symbol.

Judge: The second portion of the section listed under judgment asked the students to decide if their work was imitative/representational, formalistic, expressive or functional. Two of the students chose more than one answer for this portion, and none of the students chose formalism as the theme of their piece. Cody said that his work was imitative and formalistic, explaining to me that he wanted to create realistic hands (imitational) in an experimental and Surrealistic background (formalism). Hazel felt that her work was also imitative/representational, but she also explained that it had expressive qualities. Her work used the theme of time to create a mood (expressive), but she also wanted to accurately describe the elements that she included such as the subject matter (imitation). Brittney O. felt that her work could be described as imitative/representational because she focused on her hands and the strawberries as the subject matter, in hopes of creating them in a naturalistic way. Brittany B. said that her work was formalistic because of the way that she combined the pencil renderings and the red and white checkerboard background. She also explained the importance of her work as expressive of her family gatherings around the kitchen or a picnic, two places that her family frequently gets together.Cody was the only one to focus on the importance of the technical achievements learned through the creation of this work, and stated that this work is important to him because it taught him how to draw hands

Suggestions for Improvement Of Art Criticism Questionnaire & Session: I need to give more options, especially about symbols and examples, when questionning students in the follow-up interview.