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 experimentaltextiles.com 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 www.hubcapcreatures.com/welcome 

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 www.nid-noi.com 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.


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