Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Drawing important times

A little behind on my posts... but here we go. Creative Kids on the 21st July, our first day back for the term.

We began with a bit of a chat about what we did during the holiday break, whilst 'personalising' the  new art journals. It was then time to select something important, from the during the hols (or close to), to take into a drawing. 

Chalk pastels were the material of choice for the day – there were also coloured pencils and grey-leads.

The chalk-pastel worked well for one artist who went go-cart racing. 
The chalk created a great 'smokey' effect.

There were two birthdays.
One picture including guests, tables, banners,

and a Star Wars cake. 

There were fun times with friends and family...
playing the 'wii game',

there was football...


and ice skating. 

This little artist's told me of a lovely time with her grandmother who lives on a farm. 
Her picture shows the house, a sheep and the fence. 
She was 'all smiles' telling me about it. 

It was quite a treat for me to hear and see these important times and events. Not only is it a great way for us to get to know each other, to connect (or not) with similar experiences, but I also think it is good to take the time to slow down and acknowledge events which are important to us. This is not always easy as we have many 'things' buzzing around in our heads. Well done guys, especially our 'new-comers', for who this was something a bit different.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our first Artist's Studio

Gathered together as evening darkness set-in. We discussed what had brought us here, what had gone before and what we hoped laid in the future.

Brown felt letters were carefully lifted out of a container and stitched onto a mustard bedspread. 'C' worked away, at times checking her sheet of paper – she is working towards an exhibition. 

For others it was about exploring the art supplies I had brought. There was water-colour paints, pastels (chalk and oil) and charcoal. A significant moment from the week was a good place to start. What 'stokes and marks' reflect this moment? There was much discovery, discussion, connections and exploration. 

At times we chatted, other times there was quietness of speech - music and creativity filling the space.

"Can we meet like this every night?" was heard said. I resonated with this – it was a lovely space. 

'C2' propped her large canvas up on two little chairs. With a palette knife bright orange and yellow hues brought to life a vibrant sky. 

8:30 came to quickly as we needed to pack up and head for home.  I am certainly looking forward to seeing all again in a months time.

Post Artist's Studio and what I love about neighbourhood communities
The next day one of the artist's walked into a local cafe, where I sat. It was lovely to see her. We both expressed how much we had enjoyed the evening before. She told me that one part (a section she had focused on by cutting it out) of her painted piece she plans to represent in glass, as she is a glass artist. She hopes to bring the glass piece to next months group. This sounds so wonderful and I can't wait to see what emerges...

The Artist's Studio at Sussex Neighbourhood House is open to all who wish to explore their creativity. It is a monthly group, meeting on the second Monday of each month. Contact the House 9354 2210 to book a place. Our next gathering 13 August. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Holding Spaces in the library

Last week I was very fortunate to be able to share my Holding Space with my northern suburb community, as part of the Glenroy Library Art and Literature program. With an expected gathering of 18, I packed every crochet hook I could find, which turned out to be 29 of varying sizes!

With a shorter time frame, of 1 hour, I was interested to see how the workshop and Holding Spaces would come together.  I was very pleased with the outcome. With a mixture of crochet experience, which I must again note that Holding Spaces are not formal crochet (but are based on the concept), the space to me felt very accepting of everyones ability. Some were learning how to create a chain stitch and getting used to holding a crochet hook and thread, whilst experienced crocheter could 'carry-on' knotting and moving threads, forming their spaces.

What stays with me are comments on how relaxing 'crocheting' is - even if it is 'just' chain-stitch and how nice it is to sit down and do something with your hands, where you don't have to think, acknowledging the organic nature - there is no right or wrong. There were also some lovely conversations opening up between parents and youth, or between participants where there was an awareness of qualities held in the Holding Spaces connected to their ways of being in the world - actions, thoughts, behaviours. I can certainly resonate to this when reflecting on my own Holding Spaces and connecting stories!

There were many 'golden moments' for me as a facilitator. What a great group you were. I would like to thank all those who attended for coming with an open-mind and giving the workshop a go. A big thank you also to all those who worked together assisting another. I really enjoyed noticing the sharing of skills and ideas. 

It is wonderful to see what can be achieved with a little imagination... 
and a hook and some thread.  

Thank you Glenroy Library for making me so welcome. 
I hope to see you all again soon. 

Printmaking Puppets and Performance

A day of printmaking, puppets and performance saw Sussex Neighbourhood House as a very creative place, on Wednesday 11th July.

12 children gathered for the school holiday workshop, which began with printmaking - monoprints to be exact.

We explored what making monoprints was like. What effect you got, the pace at which you needed to work so the printing plate didn't dry to quickly and how much, or how little detail was transferred (from printing plate / block to paper).

Our printing plate was a piece of plastic, an A4 laminating sheet.

Some created scenes,

others exploring with shapes and colours. 

There were 2 'test prints' each.

Monoprint definition (selected from wikipedia): 
A monoprint is a single impression of an image made from a reprintable block... Only one impression may be produced, by painting on the block. 
Monoprints are known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques; it is essentially a printed painting. The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike. The beauty of this medium is also in its spontaneity and its combination of printmaking, painting and drawing media.

A guided meditation invited the artist's to picture themselves in the outdoors, what was around them, where were they sitting, what did they see? This was a good way to quieten thoughts and actions after the busy printmaking. They then thought of what they would like their puppet to be - what was their character?

This artist drew hers first in greylead, placing the drawing underneath her printing plate.

There were animals, people and unique monster like characters. 

Two artists decided that their characters would be their pets (and pet friend) who had just passed away. Another, her Mum's Dad, for her Mum - she did not meet him but knew her Mum would like it. 

As their prints dried the artist's were invited to write about their characters, to find out more about them. What did they like? What didn't they like? What was their name!

After a lunch break - much needed for busy artists - it was time to turn the prints into puppets.

At this point I would really like to thank and acknowledge the very talented artist Heri Dono and the Australian Print Workshop for introducing me to the monoprint / shadow puppet combo. Quite some years back I attended a workshop at APW with Heri, where I created my own monoprint shadow puppet. It is lovely to keep sharing this great style.

So, now came the time to cut-out the characters, releasing them from their large paper sheets. 
'Moveable parts', such as arms, legs or tails! were cut and reconnected with string, to the main puppet and then onto bamboo sticks for moving. 

What fun and excitement!

In pairs, individually or in small groups the characters took to the screen. 
Some with elaborate storylines and others silently moving to music. 

A great day - thank you to all the artist's and my wonderful assistants.