Yesterday I tutored a creative art/craft workshop at one of the Tasmanian Regional Arts Groups in my area….. Tasmanian Regional Arts Kentish at Sheffield (town of murals). Not everyone at this arts branch wants to do painting or drawing related activities, so we try to also offer alternative creative activities to cater for all.
I am still basically a painter so I do like it when there is a link. So for me box making is perfect. I can paint my own watercolour or do Suminagashi (Japanese marbling) on a 200gsm or heavier stock, then make it into a little trinket or jewellery box. Alternatively there is a lot of suitable, printed card stock available (as scrapbookers know).
Images below are of boxes made by attendees yesterday, which included a 10y.o lass who came with her grandmother to share a day of hands on creating.
On Friday I took a small workshop on introduction to abstract art in acrylics. We discussed abstract art and googled images to see the diversity and degrees of abstraction. This is a painting I did on canvas board. “Winter”… the mountains just appeared… abstracted? This is not based on any real place or even an intention to paint mountains and snow. it just evolved ….. whenever I play with paint I am likely to end up with something suggesting a landscape. It is hardly realism but does it meet “abstraction”. I prefer the term” landscapes from the imagination” and as this started to emerge from the canvas I was reminded of a painting done about this time last year of Everest Base Camp. What I most wanted participants to do was to explore a multitude of ways to apply paint to a surface. This was primarily done with the palette knife. It is such FUN and even as adults we should give ourselves permission to “play” and “waste” materials as it is through doing this that we learn.
Today I have been practising “mark making” in preparation for a workshop I will be taking with fellow artist, Jan Marinos, with special needs students. We will be getting the youngsters to explore making marks on various oriental papers. We will also introduce them to Japanese marbling… Suminagashi.
The marbling will give colourful patterns which they can overwork, if they so choose, with ink marks. For this marbling (suminagashi) we use Oriental papers such as Hoshu which need no preliminary treatment and have good wet strength. We will introduce participants to grinding their own ink using a solid ink stick and stone in the traditional way. This is a relaxing activity which focuses the mind in preparation for painting. We will then use soft Chinese brushes of various sizes to make expressive marks…. not necessarily the flowers etc which I painted, but more simple, expressive, non-representational, mark making.
One of my works shown below, which combined Sumi e roses on marbled paper, I made into a fan employing a simple concertina fold method. The Hosho paper is very strong and easy to fold while retaining those folds well . With assistance from their aides, each participant in the Special Education workshop will make a fan. Other works will contribute to a joint mural/assemblage presentation at the final 2 day camp.
Art for relaxation and meditation… it does not get better than painting on silk.
WORKING SMALL ON SILK is a short introduction to the freedom of painting on silk for relaxation and meditation.
We will work on little images…. abstracted and/or more realistic. Just letting the colours flow, working with varying amounts of water, creating texture with salt, “building” a little landscape …..
and, if you like,making one of your works into a brooch (like the children in the previous post …. Kids for a creative future workshop).
Saturday 24 th August 10a.m. till 12.30 pm
Materials supplied $30
Forth Art Studio
The slideshow here contains works from my recent ink and watercolour wash workshop. In the morning we looked at types of ink , from solid ink stick to liquid acrylics, shellac based liquid ink and biros and pens of various types. Next we considered applicators…. pens, firm brushes, rigger brush, soft brush, brush pen, bamboo or reed pen and ruling or nib pens. The properties of the mark depend on the materials used (especially the applicator and the surface). Three different papers were used to explore line versus tone and methods of application of the ink. Finally we looked at watercolours including useful ones for travelling with maximum benefit and little bulk. A light print of a pencil sketch was worked on in two diffeent manners. In the afternoon we did not venture outdoors due to weather conditions but instead chose A4 print photos as references for quick sketches rather than carefully rendered watercolours. Most worked small as would usually be the case when travelling. There was a lot to take in…. now it is up to participants to enjoy playing with the techniques. With practise comes confidence. They each were given a sheet of suitable watercolour paper and a pigment ink pen to encourage continuation.
I have had a few people looking for the photos I said I would put on my blog of Bread Dough Creations and handmade books which I ran as craft activities at the recent Scouts’ Jamboree in Tasmania. I was too busy to take many pics but did get a few (participants’ artworks not mine). Thank you to all who took part in my activities, I appreciated your enthusiasm, care of my gear and ability to follow instructions. The Jamboree was an amazing event. Congratulations to the organisers.