Saturday, May 26, 2012

Garments with special powers

This morning I set the CKs a challenge. With their pieces of clothing they were invited to think of their clothing as having special powers. These powers might be like armor to protect, or have magical qualities, or have super-hero actions. Also how would they be worn - just because they were trousers, would they still be worn like trousers?

In fact no - one pair of trousers became a hat, which could write books!
There was the dress with invisible powers. 

A t.shirt which has her families love. 
She can wear this anywhere at anytime. 

(Another shirt with 'Go Blues' is for the football!)

This paint shirt, spews paint. 

These legging / arm bands, protect from flies and bees. 
They have a sad face, angry face and happy face on both. 
With them on their owner looks very confident. 

And this skirt protects against pollution in the world. 
We should get a few of these, the world could certainly use protection from pollution!

A big thanks to all the CKs for doing such a wonderful job in the 'clean-up'. We had so much to do and  you were great!!!!

ArtWorks final pieces

21st May

Time to hit the paper for the final pieces. 'S' arrived with one purpose - to work on her final drawings for her school project assessment. The submission date was sooner than she had thought, so after a couple of deep breathes it was time to start the scary task of putting pencil to 'final paper'. 

We referred back to the keywords identified last week to ensure that the drawing and the marks held the quality of the emotions, feelings and behaviors. They serve a little like a compass or map. 

She was well on her way by the end of the group and I wish her all the best in completing the others, plus putting down the watercolour. 

'C' also worked on her painting. She added trees, butterflies and mountains. What was really exciting was the mixing of different shades of paint. 

Time went so quickly for all us of - again we could of stayed there all night!

This evening was certainly about supporting, sharing and moving through what can sometimes be a tense space of working on a final piece.

Well done girls - I can't wait to see the 'finals' this Monday - also our final session. 

Journal drawings as a starting point

19th May

Painting on canvas boards - wow - excitement!!! To begin the CKs revisited drawings, sketches, ideas from their journals. Within their journals they selected something which stood out for them. This 'journal inspiration' was the starting point for their painting.

Sketching out the idea first with grey-lead pencil. 

This little artist was reminded of times painting mountains with her grandfather. 
This reminded me of painting with my grandad too.

There were stories to be told, 
'the ghost fox'

Coral reefs with moss


And rainbows

I remember the little tree, lovely to see it in amongst the peace. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A night of a thousand lights

15th May

Being a part of a thousand lights to brighten up the longest night of the year is something quite special. The Mixed Media group at Sussex Neighbourhood House are amongst more than twenty of Melbourne’s culturally diverse communities, creating lanterns which will glow at Federation Square, on Saturday 23rd June. 

Although the sticky back 'paper' was a little challenging to start, for all, we soon got into the swing of things to create these vibrant lantern bags. Little battery powered 'candles' of different colours look wonderful when placed inside.

Thanks to the lovely lantern artist, Anu, who is as vibrant as the lanterns she introduces us to. We look forward to seeing you next week for more lantern fun!

Embedded within a painting

14th May

The key phrase I would use to describe ArtWorks this week would be 'thought provoking'. Both girls spent time coming to know the topics of their upcoming works. 

'C', interested in her next painting being of a giraffe in Africa, was concerned about it being realistic, of it being 'right'. A selection of giraffes were found on the internet and she worked intensely observing the forms before sketching them on paper. Unhappy with some parts she used tracing tissue for the 'next round'. Areas she was happy with she could trace (of her own work underneath), areas that required adjustment could be adjusted. Come the end of the evening she started to feel more comfortable with adding her own, creative slant. I look forward to the painting next week. 

'S' was looking to finalise the content, for her paintings, for her school project. We again discussed scars and then listened to the song that her selected lyrics come from. On listening to the track and writing down the selected lyrics, I 'bracketed-in', or brought to the forefront of our conversation, each sentence. As I read out each part 'S' gathered them into 3 distinct parts. I invited her to connect the 'lyric parts' to her own experiences - could she think of a time when she felt this way? As she spoke of what she knew, I noted down 'key words' - words that stood-out to me. Before us, scribbled on a piece of paper emerge the possible content of the 3 paintings, she 'knew' them - we were both very excited! 

A big night, a lot of thinking, concentrating and reflecting - but very exciting. 
Also Happy Birthday 'S' - here's to a great year ahead for you. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Big hearts

12th April

As most of you know I'm a kiwi, who spread her flight-wings to Melbourne out of Christchurch many years ago (yes, we can fly with a bit of help). 

This week I came across 'The Eastern - The Letting Go' youtube video, thanks to Deborah Tromp Green, from the CHART ANZATA Art Therapy Initiative. It was difficult to watch a place of fond memories in pieces, but as the clip went on I felt pride and positivity. To me it showed the resilience and strength of community spirit. Wonderful little fabric hearts, carrying a big message – of kindness, connection, hope and strength (the list goes on...). My hope for today was for the CKs to be a part of a 'big heart' from a global community. 

They watched the clip with me, asked questions and then with a lot of care made some special hearts. 'C' drummed us into the mood with 'heart-beats' on the bongo drum. 

'The Eastern - The Letting Go'

Hearts were made for Christchurch, some for Mother's Day and one for Mum and a Grandfather who has not been well, one for a friend.  

There were beads, felt and flowers.

Paper, buttons and markers.

Carefully cut,

And held together. 

Some wrote letters and drew pictures for kids in Christchurch. 

As I did last year, with the beanies and cards, I will ensure 'our hearts & messages' make it to NZ. 

Our hearts for you Christchurch

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mums,
and to 'L's grandfather, I hope you are healing. 

If you would like to send some stitched Hearts for Christchurch please see the link below. 

Messages of happiness

Last week I was teaching first year Grad Dip students at Miecat, so the very talented Natalya kindly stepped in to help at Creative Kids. From an email she wrote to me after the class:

Today was wonderful!!! We began with journalling and then I invited the kids to make "little people".

We began by writing a message about "things that make us happy" - a message for either ourselves or in reflection of the person we might be giving our little friend to as a gift afterwards.

These were then scrunched up to use inside as heads. The kids watched as I demonstrated each step and then waiting patiently for everyone to finish each step before we continued. They helped each other out - it was a collaborative experience.

Some chose to make legs and others decided not to - one child created one big little/mermaid like fin!
Everyone was excited to decorate their little people.

Afterwards we reflected upon what is was like to make the little people.

I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with all the children.

Thank you for the opportunity to have been able to fill in for you! Nat x

Thank you Nat! And, from what I heard this morning these were a great hit. Many made more during the week for friends and Mums. I will certainly treasure the one made and gifted to me. Many, many thank yous. Amanda x

Artist's at Work week 3


ArtWorks week 3, at the half way mark for the term!

Again the girls were quite varied in their work. 'C' worked on and completed her piece from last week. After identifying the character as being 'silly' in silly clothes, we came to know that the background needed to hold this quality also. It was very much like a stained glass window, or the panels at Federation Square. 'C' decided that each section needed to be a different colour and tested her 'mixed colours' before putting them on the page. This certainly helped to ensure she had the colour she wanted. After taking it to show Suzanne and Leigh in the office, positive spirits were on the rise and more was added in the form of shapes and objects.

'S' has continued her inquiry into a piece of a song lyric, for her school project. This week was very much about looking closely at the techniques she liked in others works. We discussed dark and light and the interest in taking inspiration from others, but keeping (or bringing in) our own style. The 'eye' she has been working on certainly shows this. 

We also spent time discussing and looking at scars, a main theme in the lyric – how much to do you show of a scar and what remains hidden? 

To top off the night 'C's painting has been selected to appear on a Sussex Neighbourhood House business card, along side other House creatives. I'm thinking she is going to be one very excited artist next week, when she sees it all printed up!!!

Story and drawing / drawing and story

April 28th

Since I am very behind in my posts - again - let me see if the CK drawings can tell the story. Quite appropriate given the activity began with me reading a story whilst the group was invited to draw. Once the story was finished, the artist's were asked to focus on one part of the drawing using a 'paper mask'. This selected area was then made bigger in a separate drawing. Individual stories were then formed, using the drawings as inspiration. Some choose to write, some shared with the group, in our closing circle. 

Once upon a time as I read,
emerged large drawings with...


focusing on a cave with the rock.

It was windy, very, very windy...

It's hard when the weather is bad, 
even though there is a rainbow. 

There are sunsets

and sunrises – a lot going on.

Swans with crowns

and a princess. 

The end 
for today.