To Grandmother’s House We Go…

Christina Brown

This year 9 seniors entered the AP Studio Art class in hopes to show off their talent and creativity. Each month up until the AP Portfolio submission due date, two students’ works will be showcased in the Caldron. This month, Marisa Brown as well as myself will be showcasing our work and sustained investigations. 

Upon entering the classroom this year I was not sure as to what I wanted my sustained investigation to be about. I knew I wanted my theme to revolve around food as it was a very broad topic, but I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in. As I thought about it, I remembered my visits to my grandparents’ house when I was younger. I fondly remember the food I ate and recipes we shared while there. I decided that my sustained investigation would be: Exploring my childhood visits to my grandparents house through food. For my grandparents, cooking food and sharing their traditions with us was their way of showing their love. Through my pieces I wanted to show their love and passion through the food by using a variety of materials and techniques. 

As of right now I currently have 6 pieces done and need a total of at least ten pieces to submit in my portfolio. Here are the pieces: 

  1. Photo courtesy of Christina Brown

    Title: My Grandpa’s Dessert

    Medium: graphite pencil and colored pencils on Bristol

    Significance: This image depicts my grandfather cutting up a persimmon. Whenever I would go to my grandparents house my grandfather would always be eating some kind of fruit. After dinner when the rest of the family would be indulging in sweet desserts he would always eat fruit.  In Italian culture, sweets like cookies are saved for special occasions. Whenever dessert was passed around my grandfather would always make sure to cut up fruit for me to have so that I could take part in his cultural tradition.


  2. Photo courtesy of Christina Brown
    Photo courtesy of Christina Brown

    Titles: Grandma’s Garden & Nostalgic Smells

    Materials: Digital painting on Autodesk Sketchbook

    Significance of the Two: The second two drawings come as a pair. The first image shows my grandmother and I picking vegetables from her garden. When I was young my grandmother loved gardening and she had a huge garden filled with tomatoes. Before she made her homemade sauce, the two of us would go out and pick the fresh tomatoes together. The second image shows my grandmother and I in the kitchen. In this photo she is showing me how to make her homemade sauce. Since my grandmother’s love language was making food for her family, some of my fondest memories with her are when we would cook together. 

  3. Photo courtesy of Christina Brown

    Title: Salud

    Materials: One Ticonderoga graphite pencil on Bristol paper


    My grandfather is a man of tradition. When everyone raises their glass to “cheers” one another my grandfather still uses a plain glass with his wine. Back when he was in Italy everyone used regular glasses to drink their wine. Despite moving to America he still kept this tradition with him.


  4. Photo courtesy of Christina Brown

    Title: Tribute To Grandma’s Annual Lasagna

    Materials: Bianyo Alcohol Markers, Black Fine Tip Pen, Red and Yellow Acrylic Paint on Paper 


    Each holiday my grandma always cooks lasagna for the family. Her lasagna is like none I have ever tried before. Unlike in most Italian American cooking, my grandma’s authentic lasagna contains sliced egg, which is a component in lasagna originating from Southern Italy. Egg is not seen in “American” lasagna which is why whenever I have egg in mine it reminds me of visits to my grandma’s house.


  5. Photo courtesy of Christina Brown

    Title: Christmas in a Cookie

    Materials: Color pencil on Bristol paper


    This is one of two pieces that will go together as a pair. The second piece is of my grandmother and I baking cookies together. The cookie in the portrait is an Italian Wedding Cookie aka Anginetti. During the Christmas season it is tradition for my grandmother to make the family Anginetti cookies. Since my grandmother’s love language is making food for her loved ones, she has passed on the tradition to me by teaching me how to make these cookies which are now a staple in my household during the Christmas season.