Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mixed Media a few projects from term 3

Well what a term! We said farewell to Lynley, which was sad, but we wish her all the best in her practice. So a couple of weeks into the term and Sue S, who has been with the House and group for years and I, said hello to Glo-Ann, who is very kindly volunteering.

We began with an artistic 'regroup', which included;

A group drawing on a large sheet of paper, to 3 rounds of 'tunes'. Then working with someone from the other side of the table, the forming of a 'favourites face shape', to indicate favourite things (prompted by questions from your partner), through visual representations. Then using string we connected 'our face' to others – those that we connect to in different ways, in our daily lives. Not only was this interesting for Sue, Glo-Ann and I, but also for the artists. Connections were shared –  'he now has my old room (in residential care)', 'we go to dancing together, bowling, cooking...' there were so many connections that we started to run out of time. It was certainly a vibrant end to the evening. 

The next week Sue and I discussed using collage as our medium. 'The plan' was to montage images for a background, a landscape, using pieces torn or cut out of magazines. The thought was to then, the following week montage a 'bird shape' to sit above - inspired by our ceramic birds. However half-way into the evening topics started to emerge on the background boards. Artists were selecting items that were of interest to them. Many faces of young people, children, families, transportation, television characters. 'The plan' had shifted!

During the following week I noticed that the boards started to buckle. New plan! These could be covers for personal artistic journals. I put this to the group – the buckled boards seemed to not be a concern, neither did my idea of journal covers. What however was of interest was to continue on, searching through magazine, cutting out and sticking on. These boards were important! I am a strong believer in 'going with' the artistic flow, wherever that may take the artist. This was a moment of joy for me to see the Artists in the group engaged in what they wanted to do – having a voice and making decisions. We quickly shifted to meet the needs of the group and I offered a couple of options. Continue with 'the boards' and / or select one image from a magazine to draw, inspired by the art movement of cubism. We had images from this movement downloaded from the net and playing 'on loop' on the flat screen. 

Many boards become very full! As did the smiles of the Artists. 

Inspired by cubism.

Lots of square, circular and triangular shapes.

The following week, more options. Continue with 'the boards', the cubism drawing or be inspired by a new movement playing on the flatscreen – impressionism. 

A definite favourite for a few of the girls. 

Soft colours, 

with soft edges. 

A few examples of landscapes were very inspirational.

The following week certainly felt like spring - the blossoms were out - the days a bit warmer. After a discussion around the changes we had observed – the evenings getting lighter, people wearing brighter colours, the flowers bursting into life – we decided to 'spring burst' the neighbourhood house. With felt pieces, crepe paper, wool and colour paper (all recently donated) the group created spring-blooms and inspiration. 

We hope they are enjoyed at the House.

Our final 2 weeks of term. Firstly we made 'mixed media paper'. With pages removed from old telephone directories there were no limitations on production this evening. Firstly the pages were coated with artists medium (as a sort of sealer), then with acrylic paint it was a matter of covering them in whatever way the artist decided on. After a few conservative starts of flat colour only many in the group started to explore the materials, colours and textures. An incredibly vibrant and energized night! Thanks for Ching2 and Terry for assisting in Sue's absence. Glo-Ann and I appreciated the additional hands, especially when production was at 'full pace' and getting paper from desk to drying racks became a mastered technique in itself. Massive thanks. 

Our final evening was much calmer.  The idea of 'zen drawings' were introduced to the group. A little like doodling they are relaxing, don't need any planing and are about drawing shapes, connecting lines and simply being in the process of drawing. Many drawing utensils were on hand, however white conte drawing sticks worked well over the top of the mixed media paper.  

We ended the evening with a few treats kindly brought along by Barbara and Glo-Ann (including very tasty chocolate brownies!!). Then a final clean-up, turn up the tunes and dance our way into the holidays.