Behind the Scenes: A Glimpse at Groton Artists’ Worst Pieces

Groton is filled with incredibly talented visual artists, ranging over a variety of styles and preferences. However, like any artist, everybody has their bad days, or the times when their vision doesn’t exactly pan out. 


Noemi Iwasaki ’22

“Last year I started working with watercolors a lot, and I ended up really liking it. I mostly make realistic art and draw from life. This piece is a self-portrait from when I shaved my head last year because I couldn’t go to a barber during the pandemic. I did this with really crappy art supplies because I was using what was available at home, so the paper kept pilling and warping. I also hadn’t worked very much with watercolor paint before this project. Since watercolors aren’t opaque, adding more paint usually just makes the painting darker and darker, even if you use a light color, so you have to leave parts of your paper white without any paint on it to create the highlights. I didn’t do this enough, which is why the eyes look so flat and have basically no light reflected in them. I think they look like dead fish eyes.”


Amy Ma ’23

“As a product of stress and exam week procrastination, this triptych of (highly disproportionate) pandas found their way into my calculus worksheets. There’s often a pressure put on artists to produce work that is meaningful or critiques society in some deeper way, but sometimes making ugly art can be the most liberating feeling. May these drawings haunt whoever sees them.”


Michaela Hanson ’24

What even is this?? At first glance it appears to be some sort of wormhole or perhaps corn on the cob. Unfortunately, it is supposed to be a shell. This was my first and last try at a linocut, which is a technique in which the artist carves an image into a linoleum block, then inks and presses it. I would definitely say that the hours of hand pain and scratching small lines into a hard surface with a dull knife weren’t worth the final result. In conclusion, this technique isn’t for me.”


Marlene Ma ’24

“I found this one I drew in 2015 which looks like it belongs in those Latin textbooks. I enjoy painting, but drawing people is not my favorite thing to do (as you can probably tell from this drawing). I don’t remember what this was for but probably an art class and it’s been sitting in a drawer somewhere since.”


Charles Rogers ’24

“Mostly I enjoy using colored pencils as my medium, and my favorite pieces are landscapes with some animals or people added into the forefront. This piece was part of my greater collection of bird drawings that I did in my FSA this fall, and it is a drawing of a triplet of crows. Since the crow is practically monochromatic, it became a great struggle for me to give them a sense of shading or texture or color or detail, and they ended up just looking like black blobs. I ended up tweaking with the piece in photoshop afterwards in order to highlight the birds so that at least the feather detail could be seen, but it ended up just looking a little worse and that created a negative feedback loop in which I would tweak, it would get worse, and thus I would tweak more. Eventually I just gave up.”