Monday, 28 March 2011

Spring Workshops

 The last couple of weekends have been taken up with workshops, in both Unlocking Creativity and Mixed Media. What a lot of fun I have had ! I love the variations in peoples work. Given the same brief, it's amazing how everyone comes up with a different end result. It has nothing to do with artistic talent but more to do with an artistic handwriting. Some came in with long held preconceptions about how their art should look, and actually found that using their non dominant hand to draw, created some wonderfully free work.

 I have a final Unlocking Creativity day next week, with one place remaining. If you are interested in joining us, see the link on the side bar for details.

Mixed Media day was spent experimenting with inkjet transfers (some were more successful than others! It's a trial and error process when using different surfaces) and building layers on a canvas using collage, pen, tissue and finally paint. It's very much a serendipity process, where happy accidents rule!

I will have another session of workshops later in the year, but if you would like to do one sooner, and there is a minimum of two people attending, I'm pretty flexible. 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

It's all about looking & feeling

I was explaining the other day during my workshop, how important it was to spend as much time looking (probably more) at your work as it is to put paint on the canvas. How intuition is key to each brush stroke, each colour choice, each mark. It's about feeling the next move rather than thinking it. I like to burst into my studio to look at a painting, that will give me an instant reaction to it, I can intuitively see what needs to be done. The same with building layers, putting lines and marks in and then taking then out. Blank out whole areas, make scribbles, cover then up again. The more layers, the more interesting the piece.
This is what I convey in my workshops. How no formal training is needed to create a beautiful and expressive piece of work. The key is not to be afraid to start.

This wonderful vid showing the work of Mary Nomecos illustrates this perfectly.

Friday, 4 March 2011

New Beginings

Just the start.

I have begun work on a few new pieces. I have three different sized canvases, just to see how the size changes the dynamics of a painting. The one above/below measures approx 102cm x 75cm. I like working big. I find it much easier to be messy! Normally I beaver away on a couple of works at the same time, so that I'm not always hanging around waiting for paint to dry. But having different sized boards to work on makes it much more difficult. I can't use the same size brushes and have to alter the compositions quite dramatically. Still it's all good fun.
I always start in the same way, by layering, papers and paint to form the background.

This one is tiny, and my lettering rather overwhelms the flighty birds, dipping in and out of the splattered ink. But I like the way the words resemble furrowed ploughed fields so it kinda works.

The one below measures 30 x40cm. An inbetweeny size. Both the one above and this one are on recycled canvas frames. I hated the originals and so tore off the offending canvas and screwed some ply on the frames in it's place. The ply gives a nice texture too. I'm using ink on these, so that I can use my calligraphy pens. Not sure how the ink will stand up to the finishing varnish. I've had disastrous results in the past, where it bled horribly. Hmmm, time to try hairspray me thinks. 

Alice doing some warm up exercises before starting an expressive painting (See unlocking creativity workshops), She needed to warm up, my studio was perishing that day, hence the mountain of jumpers she had to put on ! 
My workshops start again next week, we have a few places left, so if you are interested have a look at the link over on the sidebar.