Heroes of H-Land



Madame Aleiner next to her portrait by Johnathan McNamara

If you have walked past the H-wing recently, (or, as Johnathan has coined it, “H-land”)  you might have noticed some portraits in the display case. These portraits, depicting staff members from H-land, are the work of Johnathan McNamara, a student in H-2A. This series of portraits showcases staff members that most of the school might not have as much interaction with, as the H-wing is fairly secluded. It gives students insight into staff members, students, and a part of campus that they might not be as familiar with. 

The series started off with just H-land staff, but, having drawn portraits of most of them, Johnathan has moved on to all the remaining staff members. As of right now, he has completed portraits of several administration staff members, including Mr. Holdren, Mr. Sheldon, and Ms. Dupont. While this project may have started small, he has a big goal: to complete a portrait of every staff member at San Marcos!

Mr. Spencer, his teacher, shared what he knows about Johnathan’s artistic process. He said that Johnathan gets motivated at random times, and grabs his I-pad to go ask teachers or staff if he can take a photo of them to use as a reference. He shared that it only takes Johnathan around ten minutes to complete each portrait, which, considering the level of detail and accuracy, is amazing. 

When asked what medium he uses to make his drawings, Johnathan said, “Pastels!”

Pastels are a difficult medium  to work with, as you must blend them to get the desired effect. It is amazing that Johnathan is able to create such beautiful, detailed pieces, that both accurately portray people’s physical appearance, and capture their essence with such a complex medium.

“It [the portrait] looked a lot like me and it was surprising. He drew the hair very well and he nailed the outfit that I was wearing,” said Madame Aliener, a French teacher in the H-wing.

Alongside portraiture, Johnathan is currently finding inspiration in fish. Reportedly, he has been drawing them on the whiteboard in his classroom. We will have to keep an eye out for fish drawings in the future!

Johnathan’s portraits are up right now in the H-wing display case. If you ever happen to be taking a stroll during class, wander by H-land to see his work! Also, look out in your classrooms for a special rendition of your favorite teacher.