mrs. barton’s AP drawing class

I really appreciate being able to use your work as a starting point – it really inspired the students.  I want them to expand their boundaries. Young people have their style and it’s uncomfortable for them to move beyond those limits. The other side is that they are searching for expression that is unique to them.  I have been trying to show them artwork that is very different from what they do – work that challenges them to engage with different techniques, colors, ideas.
– Elisa Barton


Elisa Barton is the art teacher at Chapin High School in El Paso, Texas. Elisa is also my sister. She looked at my various videos and decided to present a project to her AP students based on the human body. The videos I created are designed to sit next to my work while in exhibition, and show the viewer progression of the particular drawing or painting. They are categorized as educational.

I get emails from students and teachers about my work and how something might  influence them – but In this case I got more …

Elisa:
So- after I showed them your artwork – and they got all excited – they had to decide how to approach the project. They decided to split the body up (Victoria Dominguez- head(s), Juliet Ward-chest, Rodney Molinary-hands & feet, Samantha Laredo- legs, Carmen Mercado-pelvis, Maribel Betancourt- arms).

I realize it’s not only a collaboration, it is also a collage.

Elisa Continues…
We talked about colors (see that yellow) and shapes/patterns common to all to unify the composition.They couldn’t decide on patterns but eventually they got to talking about the heart monitor so I encouraged them to use the blips (including flat lining). This took several days of working and talking.


They traced Samantha Laredo (below).  She was surprised that she fit on all the papers.  We have a text that has the skeleton form all sides that they used for the bone structure.

…They really loved what you had done with pattern, they discussed that and organs and such. You can see that each one has really different sensibilities but I think they really made it work.  It’s all done in acrylic.  They photographed all their work first then they put the piece together –  they decided to cut strips and overlap the work in a way that unified the body. I did not get into that part at all.

One of her early comments that accompanied more photos:
You should see them working – they all stayed after school last Friday (last one left at 6:30) because they are excited to work.

I get that and it sounds great to me.

Elisa sent along a couple of links:
If you want to see samples of last years AP submissions (national) → click here.
For Concentration samples here → click here.

Thanks for sharing.

on a side note:
Elisa is #1 and I am #4 in a pack of 6. I was a teenager, probably about the age of her students, when she gave me my first big (and I do mean big) box of art supplies for Christmas. It’s a good memory.


What is AP®
AP provides a unique learning experience to help students succeed in college. Through AP’s college-level courses and exams, they earn college credit and advanced placement, stand out in the admission process, and learn from skilled, dedicated, and inspiring teachers.

The focus in an AP class is not on memorizing facts and figures. Instead students engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.


2 thoughts on “mrs. barton’s AP drawing class

  1. very interesting…don’t know how this popped up today. I had never seen it…#3

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