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Friday, 31 August 2012

Bug Art at The Green Centre

For the Basildon Art Trail (5th- 15th October) I will be showing a selection of drawings and painting based on natural form at The Green Centre at Wat Tyler Country Park.
Dragonfly Face by Lisa Smith, drawn in water-soluble crayons at the Green Centre
As part of the build up for this years Art Trail , my venue has given me the opportunity to hold two workshops a 2D workshop and the other a 3D workshop. For the 2D workshop we invited children of all ages to come along to the centre and draw their favourite bug. The Essex Field Club has an amazing selection of specimens, computer logs and books that the children used as resources along with a slide show of bugs I had put together. Most of the children chose to use specimens that had been collected and encased in resin. This allowed the children to really observe what they were drawing, to hold it in their hands and look up close to where the legs joined, what colours the bugs were, where their antennae and wings were placed and so forth.
Having volunteers from the Essex Field Club on hand meant that the children could ask questions about the bug, where they were from, what was their habitat, what they ate ... etc and be provided with expert answers.
I encouraged the children to take their time, to spend at least 5 minutes observing what they were going to draw and guiding them as to what parts I would draw first and how I would section the drawing off.
Close Observation of a Scorpion

Even the parents got involved holding specimens whilst their children concentrated on their drawing

A stunning drawing of a Stick Insect

Children enjoyed using the site specific build frames to draw on

Even the police turned up to draw a bug!

Children enjoyed using pastels, oil pastels, coloured pencils, graphite sticks, charcoal and pencil to complete their drawings. I think it is important that children are given the opportunity to explore varied mediums and the use of colour

We had a fantastic response to the workshop and discovered some very talented young artists as you can see in the pictures below.
What an amazing collection of bug drawings ranging from children aged  2years to 12 years old

This drawing was drawn completely from the child's imagination

I love the colours and the attention to detail in this beautiful oil pastel sketch

The Preying Mantis illustrates all of the key features of an insect, the six legs, 3 body parts, antennae and big eyes. How beautifully has this been drawn and coloured in

If you would like to join us for the 3D session and fancy building your own bug - then come along to the Green Centre on Saturday 1st September between 10:00am - 4:00pm. for more information check out the Essex Field Club website 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Paint it, Splat it, Stick It

This Summer I have had the pleasure of working with some talented Art tutors and some even more talented children. Over the course of the summer holiday children from schools around Basildon have been attending activities based at local schools run by BEST (Basildon Education Service Trust). The children have taken part in pentathlons, cookery sessions, dodgeball, speed skills, film production, an Art academy, paint workshops and many more.
During the session children are provided with the opportunity to experiment with materials some of which they may not have used before. I love watching children get their hands dirty and splatter paint, experience physically how it moves across a surface and discover the wide range of marks and effects they can cause themselves. This blog shows off some of my favourite pieces made in workshop for children aged between 5-11years - tutored by Paul Rix-Clancy and Angela Ferguson
Does this not just make you want to go and get your paints out?

I love the eerie feel to this painting, beautiful brush work

Can you spot all of the letters hidden in this stunning masterpiece

One of the amazing pictures finger painting (no brushes allowed) in our finger painting workshop

Working on a masterpiece

Meet Steve! Steve was created during a junk modelling session. It never fails to amaze me what a child can produce from a few bits of junk, cello tape, tissue paper and glue!

More continued mark making and colour exploration using oil pastels

And here is a portrait of me made with Tissue paper!

I just love the detail and shading on this perfect penguin

Tissue paper collage of a tropical island -very Matisse

More finger painting

What a stunning us of colours, marks and simple composition values

I was really hoping this one would be left behind to go on my wall!!! glorious mark making with hands and fingers

And of course, you can't beat a bit of splatter painting

What an amazing picture from a talented 6 year old

A 5 year old's big bad wolf collage

Another wolf collage completed by a 6 year old, just love this one, I think this would make an excellent illustration

As you can see the children clearly enjoyed exploring the materials and techniques taught by our talented tutors. what a fun summer.

For information on arts and craft workshops please contact me on 

Barleylands Art Trail 2012

This blog showcases some of the stunning work which can currently be viewed as part of the Barley Lands Art Trail. Following the success of last year’s event, this time the art trail has been extended to run for a whole month, allowing more people to have the opportunity to view the local talent of Essex, both professional and amateur. Now in its third year, galleries and workshops within the Barleylands Craft Village have again opened their doors to local artists to display their work.
The trail was formed two years ago by a voluntary committee with the aim of creating opportunities and links between local artists, business and community whilst promoting the profile of all three.
The Barleylands Craft Village is the perfect venue for such an event of this kind as it is home of more than fifty studio shops working with a whole host of materials including paint, canvas, paper, clay, glass and steel to produce an array of unique products. Take the opportunity to visit soon and view some great art and very creative product.
In the mean time here is a sneaky preview to wet your appetite....
Official opening of the Barleylands Art Trail 2012

Graham Collins, Illustrator in Studio 52 (image to follow)

Martin Dyer, Visual Artist in Studio 30

Richard Argent, Visual Artist in Studio 19

Donna Phelps, Visual Artist in Studio 33-35

Liz O’Brien, Visual Artist in Studio 42
Caroline Weidman, Sculptor in Studio 44
Denise Gannon, Textile Artist in Studio 48
Lisa Smith, Visual Artist in Studio 28
Steve Burdett, Visual Artist in Studio 15
Danielle Clements, Sculptor in Studio 41
Jennie Clements, Fantasy Art in Studio 41
The trail blazers, reviewing this years Art Trail

Willerby, Visual Artist in Studio 43 (image to follow)
Paul Magner, Photographer in Studio 50
Sandra Bonner, Photography in Studio 24
Mandy Davis, Painter in Studio 20
Pearce Hall, Visual Artist in Studio 18
Janet Stout, Visual Artist in Studio 40
Jan Simon, Jeweller in Studio 43
Robert J Railton, Visual Artist in the Courtyard Tea rooms

If you would like to see the works mentioned in this blog and much more, why not visit Barleylands Craft Village, Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex CM11 2UD. To find out more details go to