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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Art Shop open

Finally I have managed to set up a shop on Etsy where you can have a look at some of my art work and maybe even purchase a piece or two. To launch my shop I have selected a number of original drawings created this year of which some will be sold as a run of 25 prints. So if you have a bare wall have a look in my shop

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Mission Complete

What a busy week! As mentioned in my previous blog I have been working with a local school as part of their health awareness Art Week. Our mission was to complete 8 sculptures in the style of artist Niki De Saint Phalle. The children chose to make 2 figures, a heart, a pair of lungs, feet, a head (love the spiky hair), legs and arms. As you can see from the picture below we completed our bright and brilliant sculptures in the glorious sunshine on Wednesday.
 As part of the week the children learnt new methods of making sculpture, and got to work as a team, develop their painting skills and have a lot of fun. This project provided a great opportunity for the school to work slightly off curriculum for a week and embrace their creativity. The children led the project from start to finish working on problem solving, confidence, material selection, decoration and use of colour.
 Sitting figure
 Spiky Head

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Art Challenge

What a fantastic week I have had! On Wednesday I started an art  project in a local school as part of their health awareness week. Our mission - to create 8 sculptures influenced by the amazing work of Niki de Saint Phalle (as pictured above). Working with 11 classes from reception to year 6 pupils we planned, prepared and started making our sculptures. The aim of the week was for pupils to gain an understanding of how the body works, the food groups and to discuss healthy lifestyles. For our part we decided to make sculptures of various parts of the body, which include, two full figures, a heart, arms, legs, lungs, feet and head. The project started with pupils learning a little about of inspirational artist, looking at the colours, patterns and forms used in Niki De Saint Phalles' work. 
 Pupils had a go at drawing their own patterns and shapes that could be used to embellish their classes sculpture. It never ceases to amaze me how imaginative children can be and during this process they created a multitude or exciting lines, shapes and patterns in many different arrangements. I always try to make sure that the children are not introduced to images of artists work until they have had the opportunity to create their own images first. I find if I show pictures prior to this, you end up with a number of children reproducing the art work shown - and for me this does not inspire the creative thinking and problems solving skills I want to evoke from the children I work with.
 In a small amount of time, with a few pupils chicken wire armatures were made of all the sculptures.
 The children then had great fun getting creative and messy covering the armatures with newspaper, cello tape and mod roc.

 The children loved exploring how to make a sculpture using materials that they do  not always have access to in a school environment. As young artists the children completely embraced creating forms, making textured surfaces and learning about the making process.  
 Once the sculpture was completely covered in mod roc and left to set the children started to paint their designs onto their sculptures using acrylic paint. As you can see from the picture below they are starting to look amazing.
I am hoping the children involved in this project are learning new techniques in creating and making sculptures, gaining confidence in their own ability, learning to work as a team and realising the art has many cross curriculum links (although we are using maths, literacy, PSE - the pupils are so focused on making their sculptures they are not realising it - yet!)
 So three days in, all eight sculptures are made and 3 have started to be embellished. Hopefully next Wednesday I will be posting pictures of all the final sculptures.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Paper Engineering Course

On Saturday I joined Access Art at Burwash Manor in Cambridge to run  a paper engineering course. During the course participants learnt how to make a sliding mechanism, a pop up picture, a vintage flower pop out and a bursting star collage. I was really impressed with the range of ideas and fantastic creations that were made on the day. It always amazes me that even though all participants were given the same materials to work with, their finished products were completely different - bringing their own personal style, preferences, ideas and talent.
As you can see from the pictures below we all had a great workshop and were very productive. Participants were all provided with packs that included instructions on the activities which will soon be available to download on the Access Art Website

On a final note if you are even in the neighbourhood and get the chance you must visit Burwash Manor. The Manor consists of 15 independent stores ranging from designer clothing, organic produce, wine, gifts, toys, children's wear, decorating shops and garden ideas. Plus a tea room, day spa and some farm animals. A fantastic day out for the family. For more information check out their website

Also keep an eye out on the Access Art Website for the fun filled Festival of Making being held at Burwash in July.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Alice adventure continues

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind and I have been busy preparing projects to deliver at local schools for their art weeks - however there is always time for a bit of collage work.
I use collage as a method of layering my thoughts and ideas as well as pieces of paper, fabric, glue and paint. With each piece of paper I add their is a history and emotion that comes with the selected material - and you the viewer add yet another layer of meaning to the piece. The gathering of materials itself is a historical process and reveal quite a lot about the life of the artist - almost their own biographies or historical artifacts. As an artists I am often asking friends and family to collect papers and objects for me that I use in my work. It's that second life that intrigues me, finding beauty in something that has been discarded or using simple scraps to create something beautiful and new.
The pieces pictured below continue my sketchbook theme of Alice in Wonderland but also link in with images of romance and forbidden love. I have tried to use the collage to express the emotions love brings, excitement, confusion, the sense of falling, vulnerability, warmth etc etc. I think I may make a collagraph of "And we dreamed until the morning light" exploring the use of texture and mark making. I'll blog and let you know how it goes.
 "And we dreamed until the morning light"
 Notice the little door in this picture, it has a sliding picture inside that
changes when you pull the butterfly at the top.

"What a curious feeling"