Entries in Grade 10 (36)


Our moths went further than we expected...

Just a quick update on the Moth Migrate Project. We sent our parcel of moths off to Professor Hilary Lorenz to participate in her installation project and the courier service we used got the address mixed up. Instead of sending the parcel to Abiquiú, New Mexico & reaching this quaint little post office below: 

The moths ended up in Mexico, in a completely different country. 

After some e-mailing between the courier and Hilary - the moths finally arrived at their destination...


South African moths fly to the USA from Reddam House Umhlanga

I became aware of the moth Migration Project via Twitter. The artist, Hillary Lorenz,  who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico put out a call for crowd sourced paper moths. She wrote on her blog; ‘Anyone from around the world may participate by making paper cut out moths. Moths will be cataloged and attached to gallery walls and ceiling in a giant geographically accurate web. This web will trace the origin location to every participating person. The moths will “fly out” from Brooklyn, NY and “fly” from city to state to country tracing the “migration” pattern of people’s participation. My goal is to create and attract at least 40,000 moths.’

I teach Visual Arts at a high school in Umhlanga, Durban & thought that this project would be a good opportunity to allow my students to participate in an international collaborative project and learn the technique of lino printing.

These are the moths they produced below:

 The image below is a hand drawn image by a Grade 8 student (she didn't have time to convert her image into a print. We decided to send the original work. 

For my own submission I started by searching the Internet for images of local moths and one day, not long after deciding to do this project, one of my students pointed out that a moth that had flown into the back of my classroom. I took some photos of the moth & used google reverse image search to identify the moth. 

It is a Cream - Striped Owl Moth or “Cyligramma Latona”  It has a wingspan reaching 75–100 mm. A long-winged brown moth with white and dark lines and eyespots. The upper sides of the wings are brown, with a yellowish band crossing all the wings and a large eyespot on the forewings.

It is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, is commonly seen around houses is very timid, easily scared & flies low to the ground. The larvae feed on Acacia species. See my interpretation of this moth below: 

I told two other local artists (Lara Mellon & Ana De Vlieg) about this project and by coincidence the same moth flew into their studios. All three of us have made our own interpretation of the "Cream-striped Owl Moth" and sent our Lino printed moths along with the moths that my students created in a package that should have already arrived in the USA.

Above image by Lara Mellon. 
Above image by Ana de Vlieg. 



Definitive proof that there is magic happening in my classroom this year. 

I started my Grade 10 and 11 students on a series of traditional drawing exercises this year culminating in bigger chalkboard drawings. They were allowed to choose what ever image they wanted to draw on to the boards. I am not too strict on content this early on in their development as artists because I want them to focus on technique rather than ideas at this stage. The girls worked on these drawings partly at school in our first term & then finished them off over the easter holidays at home. It was with great delight that I received these beautiful pieces. The following pieces are by Emma D, Emma C, Chia Chi, Georgina, Jessica, Khevna and Rebecca. 


Key first steps to successful charcoal drawing 

This term with my Grade 10 students started with us focussing on charcoal during class time & drawing in graphite pencil for homework.I normally get my students to draw almost straight away on Emtini Liner – a tobacco coloured card & they then tackle quite a big drawing (about A2 in size). This year I tried to give the students a more comprehensive introduction to charcoal. First doing a series of contour and gesture drawing using willow charcoal & observing human faces (each other) & animal skulls.

We then did copies of David Hockney’s landscape studies in charcoal to learn about mark making in charcoal.  

They were then introduced to planar analysis by observing the planes and surfaces on a face selected out of a magazine & then practicing this using the mannequin & skeleton for reference.  

They were also shown the following images dealing with planar analysis from the blog of Adriana Burgos:

My Grade 10 students showed an interest in the blackboard drawing that I did on my office door this year, so I decided to order mounted boards covered in blackboard paint, that they could use as a surface for their own charcoal/chalk drawings.


One of my students, Anne, found the lesson on planar analysis really useful & applied what she had learnt to a drawing of an ocelot. The following images document her progress:


Beautiful drawings from my youngest students

As I said in a previous blog that I decided to stick to a more traditional style of teaching before experimenting this year & I think it is working... 

The following two images were produced by my Grade 9 students this term: 

and the following images have been produced by my Grade 10 students: 

The last two images have their reference attached (I borrowed a few skulls from our biology department at school)