Wednesday, 29 August 2012

' A new starting point' at Art Van Go

This is a very quick post as we are just dashing out for an Indian meal. So here are lots of fab images of the work the group did today at Art Van Go.


We had a wonderful day playing with news paper,  painted Bondaweb, gilding flake and all sorts of sparkly things - what more could a girl ask? Well I suppose you could ask for dancing boys and vodka  . . . 


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

ExTex 4th week end - large scale still life and collage

One of the great paintings generated over the weekend.

If any of you have tried your hand at life or still life drawing and are not natural artists you will know the fear of trying. Particularly in a group. There is always someone better you, not that it is a competition, but we naturally feel undermined when someone is better than us - as a general rule.    

 My Experimental Textiles course was written to teach the skills required to help students with their confidence and to start to develop their own style. The exercises and course work that the group work through over the nine weekends will encourage this. Having the end of year show at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC at the end of March gives them a bit of impetus to produce some excellent work if it is needed. 

I was very pleased with efforts of the group this weekend, they are now starting to make friends with each other and support each other. I set up the main still life and the group all brought in two items to add to the composition. The large fish made form hub caps is by Ptolemy 

The use of a large scale still life means it it easier to see lines and shapes. It can be quite restricting to work on a small scale. I wanted strong lines and shapes - not a beautiful 3D representtaion. We used pencils and crayons first, these are more controllable than paint, especially when you are new to drawing and trying to depict what you see. After a few pencil and crayon sketches we went onto using paint straight onto the paper with no guiding pencil marks.

The group ploughed on and produced some fabulous work.

It is VERY important to make sure that the students understand that it is not a competition, some students always need more support than others - there will always be someone who can execute beautiful drawings and paintings - and someone who can't. The whole point of the exercise is to encourage the group to look at the spaces in between, line and shape so it doesn't really matter what the finished work looks like.

On Sunday we started to create stitched collages using the previous days work and extra papers that the group had brought in. It can be difficult to cut up work you are pleased with and if a student REALLY doesn't want to, I won't make them. Again we were concentrating on line and the shapes drawn and painted on Saturday.

The group will be stitching further into their collages as part of their homework (I hope). There are only three weeks between sessions this time so they wont have a lot of time baring in mind they all have jobs and or children. Considering this is a non accredited course and there is no motivation qualification wise the students are very well motivated and are producing everything I am asking them to - they are just FABULOUS!
We are going to have the most wonderful show. 

Now I have finished this I will get a few orders sorted for and then load the car ready to teach at Art Van go this week. It will be great to see Viv and Kevin again. It's not like working when you teach there - just great fun! Another newspaper course - it will be FAB to see what the group get up to. The course is full to bursting and has been for some time - who would have thought newspaper would be so popular.

Will report back over the weekend or maybe one evening this week if I get a chance.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fun and Frolics at Foredown Tower

A rather lovely book cover decoration. Newspaper layered with painted Bondaweb decorated with glitter and die cut newspaper shapes bonded onto a book cover.

Have just had a FAB three days teaching at Foredown Tower and Yes! it was using newspaper AGAIN!!! Are you fed up with it yet? I hope not, I am teaching a similar course at Art Van Go next week. This course was 'A new starting point'.

Foredown Tower is a great place to teach - it is an old water tower that now houses one of the very few camera obscura left in the country. The camera is on the top floor of the building. The views all around the building are stunning. The teaching room is on the middle floor. Both these floors are accessed by an external metal staircase, very wide and very strong but not good for disabled access. It can be a bit annoying in wet weather but it kind of adds to the charm of the place. 

 The girls hard at it.

I like teaching there so much I have booked the tower for seven weekends from October to July. As soon as I have decided what I will be teaching I will add it to my diary. I will let you all know over the weekend at the latest.

Newspaper decorated with painted Bondaweb layered with - Yep! you've guessed it, more newspaper.

A detail of the gorgeous piece above.

Newspaper layered with painted Bondaweb, decorated with glitter, gilding flake and jewel dots.

Newspaper faux chenille was included on this course.

A few of the group tried adding print to their top layer.

This piece has polyester organza layered in between the newspaper.

My leaf block was very popular for printing onto the decorated papers.

. . . . and so was my fish printing block . . . The idea is to print in a colour that is already in the work rather than introducing anything too contrasting. That way the design just 'floats' in and out of the work.

Amanda brought along her own collection of wooden printing blocks - Hello Amanda!!! My latest follower.

The following images are of book covers decorated with sections of the decorated papers.

So you can see we had a great time -  The group also made boxes by ironing the papers onto heavy iron-on interfacing. With the scraps they cut shapes with my die cutting machine to make brooches and earrings. Of course - I didn't take photos of the boxes or the brooch shapes - Duh!! It was quite an intense three days, we covered a lot of techniques, but the group coped well. I hope to see some of the girls back at the tower for my new weekend courses. They were great fun.


Tomorrow I will start preparing to leave for Redditch and The Old Needle Works on Friday to teach the fourth weekend of my course Experimental Textiles I need to sort all the gear I need to construct a large scale still life. I am very much looking forward to seeing the group again, it seems ages since we all got together.  


Have a great Bank Holiday weekend!