Tag Archives: teaching

Letting People Play

30 Oct

tree cat

I’m working for a charity that supports very vulnerable people, running arts and craft sessions. I work in different venues across the city and I tailor the sessions to suit them and their clients. This evening was about letting people play. It wasn’t a formal session aiming to teach fine arts or enabling people to turn out a well-crafted item, but a chance to just mess around and have a bit of fun.

 

 

I took some lovely chine collé tissue papers made from recycled saris and a couple of boxes of stamps, the ones that kids use, and an ink pad. I encouraged people to try stamping the tissues repetitively to make a pattern and / or to overlay them to get a pictorial effect.

 

 

Then we put them into little ready-made mounts which set them off nicely. Quick, cheap, easy and fun. People need to play and those living in dire circumstances often don’t get that chance. Providing a safe space for arts and crafts can give them the opportunity.

Testing Testing One Two Three

29 Oct
SOB7

The final layered print

I tried out a new printmaking technique today, gel printing with a commercial Gelli plate. It’s part of the equipment I’ve been given for my part-time job running art sessions with people who are homeless and insecurely housed. The instructions just said to use paper and acrylic paint but were no more specific than that so I wanted to try out some of the different acrylic media I have hanging around to see which worked best. First off, water-based printing inks from Seawhite of Brighton. The inks blended well on the plate, took the textures I pressed into them, printed easily onto a basic Daler Rowney cartridge paper (90gms) and cleaned up really well. I used baby wipes on the gel plate and warm water on the roller. Easy peasy.

I also tried the process with two other acrylic media, Liquitex acrylic inks and Winsor & Newton’s Galeria acrylic paints.

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The Liquitex inks were too runny for this process and smeared rather than rolled across the plate. They didn’t take the texturing well and quite a bit of ink was left on the plate afterwards. It’s a pity because the colours are gorgeous. The makers recommend trying a heavier Liquitex paint.

 

Lastly, I used the Winsor & Newton acrylic paints. They felt quite dry while I was rollering them onto the Gelli plate but they seemed to take the textures well. However, the inks didn’t transfer well to the paper, they dried out very quickly and I had trouble cleaning the roller.

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The results are okay for a first session. I’m used to doing monotypes onto a hard perspex (plexiglass) surface and I’m not sure whether I would use this technique for my own printmaking, but I need to do more experiments. I can see me using this technique to produce collage papers though. Next time, I think I’ll try with my Caligo Easywash inks and Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic. I’ll let you know …..

 

I Love It

25 Oct

mansel

I work part time for a charity that works with vulnerable people, I run arts and craft sessions. I love it. I really love it. People come in, have a cuppa and some biscuits and do some arty stuff for a couple of hours in a warm, safe place.

 

 

We do all sorts of different things and of course, people work at different levels according to their experience. Some people haven’t done any art since school, others have been to art college. Today I set up a simple teaching session on collage (from the French collé meaning ‘to stick’). I cut out some simple stencil shapes for those that wanted to use them and we ripped up loads of small pixels of paper from a stack of magazines and old photographic diaries.

Some background card and a packet of glue sticks and we’re off! There’s a lovely mix of styles and approaches and people seemed genuinely pleased with the experience.

Getting Physical

16 Aug

KimRose 1

I normally scribble on my own but today I was facilitating an art session and started off with a physical art exercise to warm us up. A lot of people don’t realise how physical art can be. I think that’s maybe because a lot of people do art as a hobby and perhaps don’t go so far into the technology or the physically demanding side of it.

KimRose 2

I stuck a large sheet of paper from a roll onto a long table with masking tape and handed the other person a black chalky pastel. I had one too. Then we attacked the paper! No plans, no ideas, just scribble, jab, stipple, rub all over. After a few minutes it was covered in myriad shades and textures of black. Then we picked up white chalky pastels and did the same….. then some muted colours for a couple more layers. The results are fascinating, a bit like looking into infinity. Although it was just a warm-up exercise, these could be worked into collages or mixed media pieces.

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Quick Little Pastel

9 Aug

pastel

Today I was giving someone some tips for using pastels, so I thought the best way was to have a bit of a scribble myself. It’s so nice to work onto proper pastel paper; the darker tone of the paper and the toothed texture make a huge difference. That’s half the battle with art, using good quality materials that are suited to the job. I just did a quick post-impressionistic semi-abstract landscape in my usual scribbly style.

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you’d like to see them, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Creative Learning

10 Oct

llanrhydian-school-demo

I had a great day, working with a group of fellow artists to deliver demonstrations to primary school teachers in a lovely school on the Gower Peninsula. I showed a selection of printmaking techniques suitable for younger children including two kinds of monotype – direct line and reductive, blind embossing and colour printing with collagraph plates, and a quick bit of block printing. It was a whistle stop tour to hopefully whet their appetite for further training. This is part of the Welsh Government’s Creative Learning initiative to expand the creative education received by children in schools in Wales over 5 years.

I did some of the printing in the demonstration with my little pastamaker press – here’s a video (with my cat) showing how to convert a tabletop pasta machine into a serviceable miniature printing press.

 

 

 

There’s more of my art to be seen in my online Gallery in Artfinder, please click on the image below to take a look. Thank you.

Quoit

 

Spreading It About.

28 Jun

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Like many artists I have to do lots of different things to make ends meet and I sometimes work with adult drug and alcohol addicts, developing educational and social skills through creative expression. Which is a bit of a posh way of saying I teach art. I thought I’d show some of the work my students did on the last course. Althought he emphasis is on self-epression, the course is very structured and includes a lot of the history of art and culture. We kicked off with ‘Corps Equise’, a technique used by Dada and Surrealist artists and poets in the early 20th century to release their creativity, including Dali, Magritte, Andre Breton, Valentine Hugo and Paul Elouard.

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Then we moved onto cave art and tribal art. I really like the work they did; it was great to see their confidence in what they were doing increase with each session and also kindling an interest in different historical periods of art that they’d had no previous knowledge of. I’m passionate about art; not just about creating it but also spreading it about because it can bring such beauty and interest into peoples lives.

Something completely different…

23 Oct

 

I do some teaching with people who are clients of our local drug and alcohol treatment service, running a short course in creativity. Today we looked at native Australian art and did some dot paintings. I joined in and this is what I ended up with. Completely different and a very interesting process. We used acrylic paint although traditionally, ancient peoples would have used ochres and we worked onto brown wrapping paper.

Teacher, Artist, Great British Eccentric

12 Apr

Ink sketch: Pat's send-off.

Today was one of those days where I experienced the meaning of the word ‘bittersweet’. I went with many others to the funeral of Pat Briggs, a Swansea-based artist, printmaker and sculptor who taught me in my first year at Swansea Art College, on my Foundation year, almost 40 years ago. We both stuck around Swansea [apart from a few years I spent over the border] and I grew to know her as a fellow artist and great eccentric as well as a valued teacher and mentor. She was born in 1930 and was one of the very few women of her generation to gain a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art, a great achievement and one of those amazing women that paved the way for my [and subsequent] generations of female artists. Her final illness lasted just a few months but before that she was still an active practitioner, making prints and drawings, using digital media and wandering around the city with her ubiquitous shopping trolley, collecting found objects for her witty and often bizarre sculptures. Here’s a link to the Swansea Print Workshop Facebook page, with Kara Seaman’s photograph of Pat making a print in her final year.

It may seem a bit odd doing a drawing at a funeral, but this is the second one I have done recently, both at funerals of artists. I feel it’s my way, as an artist, to honour their memory. I’d like artists to draw at my funeral. Here is the view from my seat at Swansea Crematorium earlier today. People of all ages came to pay their last respects, from babes in arms to octogenarians. Even the vicar is a former student of hers. It’s a great thing to have a good teacher, something our politicians should take note of. A good teacher will inspire you for life, not just cram you through exams and Pat, a VERY blunt Northerner who didn’t mince words, taught me in my first year at art college about the value of constantly criticising and reevaluating what I’m doing and I’ll always be thankful to her for that.Today was bitter because we’ll miss her but sweet to remember a woman who lived her long life to the full and achieved more than most could even hope for.

Pat Briggs. Artist. 1930-2012.

Gallery, Students, Tip.

16 Feb

Ink sketch at Elysium

 

I had a very bitty day today and it wasn’t satisfying at all. Started off with admin and stuff to do on the computer, took AGES to book some train tickets online. It would have been quicker to walk to the station and back again! Then Husb and I took a load of rubble from the studios to the recycling tip. Fascinating :$. But now I know where to put old fluorescent tubes. And this afternoon was my stint sitting the current exhibition at Elysium Gallery. I generally volunteer for the 2.30 – 5.00 slot on Thursdays so if anyone’s passing, drop by and say hello 🙂

This afternoon, thirty students from the local Art College turned up with their tutor who gave them a lecture based on the work in the gallery. I thought it was an excellent idea. They should do it more. While she was teaching, I scribbled a couple of the students listening – they all had to sit on the floor. I didn’t – I have old knees. Actually it’s not just my knees. The students looked ridiculously young to me, as do policemen these days. Let’s face it, I’m a mad old cat lady lol 🙂

Didn’t get much art work done, apart from this sketch in Faber Castell Pitt pens sizes F and B in my little cat-themed sketchbook.

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