Monday, April 30, 2012


23rd April - 30th April

Since I am a little behind in my ArtWorks posts I thought I would combine the two. 

For me this began with making an artist journal. Firstly with making mixed-media paper. Such a fun, freeing activity – splattering down paint, pressing pages together, making monoprints - whatever took my fancy. 

I prepare newspaper pages with a matte medium, so that the acrylic paint sits nicely on top.  

Then I have fun. These pages will be interleaved with blank pages in my journal. 

I took materials along for the group to use. If they wanted to create their own journals, or mixed-media paper. 'S' began with some art history, written homework. It was interesting to hear what she had been studying in class and to discuss the painting she was focusing on. She also talked through a large assessment that she was working towards in art. The theme was based on a song lyric she had selected. Also different artistic styles she liked. As she shared her journal, there was one pencil drawing that really stood out to us both. I asked could I photocopy it, she agreed. 

With copies of her portrait we applied the medium and then washed down the acrylic paint to achieve the washed effect she had admired in others work. I went first, placing colour. 'S' asked how I knew where to put the colour. I mentioned that I was placing it where it felt right. We discovered that by putting the colour where the feeling and emotion was, was very powerful and insightful.

'C' found an image which was like her Mothers new car. This was cut out and placed in the right environment. We spend considered time on the shades of the road. Observing shade and light outside our studio window. We noticed the small dots in the asphalt, but also discussed artistic license.

She also thought carefully about how it was to be presented. A large sheet was painted white, for future use as a frame.

Watercolours! After last weeks exploration of washes I brought along watercolours. My favourite watercolour approach is to look at a leaf and create a wash of colour. Then with a grey-lead look closely at the lines, shapes and shades. What I see, rather than what I think is there. 

"C" likes this approach but of course (as artists should) took her own approach. Using the pencil first she carefully observed and drew the outline of the leaf and the main veins. From here she seemed to enjoy adding a pattern. When it came to colour she noticed where the darkness sat. A branch was added and a background. 

"S" explored the different marks watercolour can make. She bracketed-in, or brought to her attention, feelings and emotions from her day, as well as connecting to her 'song lyric' project. We chatted about qualities and what she was coming to now know. 

"C" also began a new project to be continued next week. The start is a girl with a funny hat. I can't wait to see it finished, it's looking great.

"S" showed us the works from last week now dry. So powerful. 

It is such a pleasure to walk along side these artists – time goes way to quickly and each week we could just keep creating, talking and exploring. For me it's a fantastic space filled with possibility and focus. 

I still haven't finished my journal, perhaps next week :)

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