Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Holiday!

A quick note to say we will be having an all day ArtClub
***on Wednesday. Dec. 19th.***
We did a great job with our Beaver sticks. We explored, and layered, first with
water colour, then Translucent tissue collage,  and finally Opaque acrylic
paint and jewels, as we painted and embellished our Beaver Sticks. Great work everyone!

I'll post our pictures shortly to share our work.  

Thank you to our very talented Artists for all their creative efforts and constructive sharing--I had a lot of fun working with each of you and was very inspired by your ideas, collaborations, explorations and the exciting work and presentations that came from that.
Happy Holiday and The Very Best Wishes for the New Year!
Tuesday's ArtClub We will start again on Tuesday, January 15th
For this next session we will each choose an artist we like, to investigate, for a 6 week effort using our own ideas, inventiveness and creative skills to paint, draw, construct, write, illustrate and/or perform!
Wednesday's ArtClub Jr. :  We will start again on Wednesday, January 9th  with rolling registration through the month of January. 
Our 6-week session will officially begin on January 23rd, 2013.  For this next session we will learn about the work of artists Henry Moore and Emily Carr as we continue to express and explore our own creativity and skills in artmaking.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Artclub S2 wk3 - Beaver Stick Contour Rendering

We started by looking at our Beavers Sticks one more time before we work directly on them.

Our exercise was to follow the contours of the sticks with our 'china marker', starting at one edge of the page and ending at the other without lifting our markers. After we did one, we could do another from another position or different focus. I had brand new crayons(yup, crayola--too fun to resist), and brand new oil pastels to share so that we could explore different ways we might like to add colour, paint, mark, decorate or inscribe our sticks once we work on them...we did this as we explored different ways to mark and inscribe our drawings.

We talked about the idea of planning and building up ideas before starting in on the actual materials we might want to use as artists, because materials can be scarce, special and can be expensive, and so sketching, exercises and art explorations, while also works of art in themselves, help us realize our ideas more richly and in leading ways through our more ...let's say refined, work.

Then we sewed, setting out to create elements of our comic/graphic stories that we're working on. And we learned a lot about planning ahead through this as we cut our fabric and researched online and tried to imagine how to construct our plushies. We are simply creating forms with features, using felt and stitching.

Fun and lovely drawings.
(pics to follow!!)

Artclub Jr. S2 Wk3 Distinction and Care

This time we did the blind contour exercise using paper bags. Some of you were so cute reaching into the bag to find ...NOTHING!!  This was a more traditional blind contour exercise: we put our hands and china markers INTO the bag and had to draw something from the room without looking into our drawing bags.We did one object, flipped our bags over to do another, then ripped our bags, carefully, to reveal our efforts! Once we all figured out how to do the exercise, we had better effort but some of us were still a little suspicious of the process!!

We also chose our beaver sticks. We will be thinking about homes and places to live as we consider how to and if we even want to, paint and add to these already artful and naturally beautiful beaver sculptures.

We also discussed the idea of "taking care" as artists, how we do that with materials and ideas in our working, and also by taking care of our materials and tools in general.

 For our group painting this week, we each added some kind of creature to last week's painting but we drew them with my very fine charcoal pastels. Some of you very carefully explored colours within your own drawing, trying to relate your work to the painting underneath by using bright or contrasting colours, while others took care to select a colour they really liked, to try it against the background. All of us realized we needed some contrast for things to be seen. We also explored outlining here to help revela our drawings - to make them distinct, if we wanted to.

Artclub S2 wk2 Contour and Beaver Sticks

We are continuing on our comical works!  Some of us have decided to continue collaborating while others are going to work independently.  We can ask each other what we liked most, and found most challenging, of both processes at the end of the session.

We have lots of felt, embroidery floss and stuffing to work with. We are taking turns in "The Lab" to write and brainstorm with our partners, or on our own. There is still much drawing and writing left to do as we work out our ideas for our comic panels.

Our drawing exercise this week was traditional Blind Contour, using that paper plate and pencil contraption to remind us not to look at our drawing and to instead just look at the forms we are trying to draw and trust in our drawing hand. It can be hard to let go of what you think you KNOW about what you see and to just let your hand draw. Contour drawings, as we discussed,  are the OUTLINES of a the surface of something or someone. It is as if you are tracing along the edges of the form. Contour lines, for me, define the shape, the form and meaningful details of a thing--they are not shaded but for example, trace the shapes of shadows, colours and textures, to help define what you see in a form in outline. I think that is a little less traditional and may even be more gesture drawing...but I like things in contexts!

Generally, contour drawing exercises help us to translate what we see onto  our page using only outlines. As an exercise, they help our eyes and hands work together well, and build skills in acting on what we see through drawing.

Pics to follow!!

ArtClub S2 Wk 1 - Decisions & Directions

We've  started our next session with an awesome donation of beaver sticks(Thank you Brian and L.!!) which we are excited to imagine and create with.

We started today with quick drawing exercises. We are doing these every week to get us in a zone: this week was a play on "blind contour" drawing:

We had our hands feel objects in paper bags so that our hands, not our eyes, could tell us what to draw. This was challenging because right away we wanted to peak - something about wanting to "get it right". Once we were all clear this was not about our visual accuracy in depicting an actual object but more about feeling our way through, we made more confident marks, and could even listen better to what our hands were telling us.

We used charcoal, conte crayon, and brown craft paper - which helps us take up  a variety of techniques working out from light/white and dark/black marks. Our mylar, and even trace is nice for this as well.

After we each did 2-3 objects we looked into our bags to evaluate what we'd done - most of you felt strongly that it was important to get a resemblance, but were okay discovering and inferring the resemblance from what you'd drawn. There was still a sense that to 'get it right' meant 'guess the actual object' too. I think it was a challenging way to think about drawing - sort of taking things apart - and you met the challenge well!

We decided to work on comic books this session. We talked about ideas and decided to include soft sculpture elements and some individual and collaborative painting/drawing/collage works to exhibit with our comics.  As we worked we re-visited examples of soft sculpture works and researched "Plushies" which have a craft AND comic book element to them.

Some of you started to sew right away while storyboarding, and others went into "The Lab" to start by writing and storyboarding.  Great start and helpful too to plan for he materials we'll need for next time.

Pics to follow!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ArtClub Jr. S2 Wk 1

This session we are working on the same warm up exercises as the big kids: this week we did Reverse Blind Contour drawings(objects in a bag). We weren't really sure what the exercise was at first, I think, and the objects were just so curious so we were all peeking ALOTWe thought about our one hand as trying to trace the forms of the objects so our other hand could draw them and reveal a form - trying to see with our hands, we started to draw with purpose. We did this in pairs to collaborate on the page and we used charcoal, conte crayon and china marker on brown kraft too-like the big kids. We had a lot of fun revealing our objects afterwards and evaluating where and how they resembled what they actually were.

I am thinking about how the younger children worked differently than the big kids. The younger kids could readily un-think the 'problem' of what's in the bag into a challenge of describing the shapes with their drawings and then guessing what that might be afterwards. The big kids challenge was more about how to let go of what they already knew was in the bag through inference, and to really just listen only to what their hands were telling them. In both cases the challenge was met to quite literally feel our way into drawing.

We also worked on our group painting and started to make paper bag puppets or draw in our sketchbooks, or on mylar. Some of you continued to draw with the charcoal and conte, others switched to pencils and marker. And we looked at and arranged our beaver sticks.

An interesting thing happened this studio. One of you started doing a "Kick-Me" sign for their puppet, then others joined in with "Hit-Me!" and "Punch-Me Hard!" signs too. This started a very reasonable conversation about what we would do if we saw somebody with a sign like that on their back (Thanks Heather!)--which quickly prompted questions about what it might mean to be kind, and a framing of our concerns by realizing that standing up for others, is standing up for ourselves as kind and thoughtful people.  Some of us then put a sign on Mr. Potato Head because we wanted to take a picture of him as if he were getting punched.  It's important to realize no one wanted anyone to really get punched but for some reason really liked the idea of it in a photo - that it maybe reminded us of something we'd seen, or thought it was funny because it was not happening us! Which is something to think about. We also talked briefly about slapstick comedy: pies in the face and slipping on banana peels, and why that makes some of us laugh, and others cringe. It's a spectrum.

Busy and mindful studio!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Exhibitions and Presentations

We had a fun evening sharing our work with family and friends.

It was so rewarding to see the big kids "presentate" to the little ones with humour and charm too.

Thanks for a fun session of scheming, making. and sharing!

(some pics to follow)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

ArtClub Jr. Abstract Halloween Fun

Very abstract and invested efforts! We formed smaller groups to collaborate on painting. We discussed abstraction and 'Halloween' ideas.

Very conceptual and spontaneous use of found materials and photography... prompted by all the caramel wrappers we used for our caramel apples. I will make sure to have the camera out as a shared studio tool. 

We planned for a busy Halloween Studio that included facepainting. Everyone worked well independently and inventively!! 
I was recently talking with some teachers about a watercolour masking project they enjoyed doing with an artist in their classroom, which made me think that framing through masking while thinking about a 'where' might connect nicely to 'how' we are thinking about  found objects that are animals and plastic. 

We each took on the challenge differently: making connections through shadow tracings, drawing from life, through colour, and enjoying the surprise when we removed our masks, or left our mask on and re-painted our "frames" while working artfully back into your work. We thought about where, in abstract and real ways, we might find our animal creations as a prompt. Busy afternoon!

All this while painting our faces for the Trick-or-Treating we like to do each year:) - (Face pics will be posted on my website: once I set up a password protected page)~thx.
Happy Haunting!

Friday, October 26, 2012

ArtClub Jr. Week 5

Our weather changed from this...

to this:

We found some plastic animals:
and made some sculptures with our found objects,
glue guns and paint:
some became installations:
and some became drawings.

and we cast our thumbs in plaster bandages...more on that next time.

ArtClub Jr. Week 4

 We worked out the weather on a rainy, windy day.

We worked out our silhouettes in colour and paint.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Artful Artificial ArtClub Week 5

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jr. Spice Trail on a Windy Autumn Day

Thanks for a fun studio - it smells great in here thanks to
our very spicy mosaic explorations. Everyone put a lot of effort into their projects today with great results. 
Our pumpkins are still drying!

Next week we can decide if we want to paint and/or embellish our frames, or even our pumpkins to see how the colours might come together. And we can talk about how best to show/share our work at our show.
Your group painting looks very windy! (And your swirls stayed!!) Great experimenting and expression. I took it apart with my camera to show you the different bits.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 3 - Testing and Guessing
We had a fun studio this week working on some comic book activities and ideas, then experimenting with found objects and recyclables: glueing, taping, painting and plaster-bandaging (which some of us loved and others did not!!) as we worked on different prototypes and models of devices. Very different and fun results! (some pictures to time I think).

We can have more tape, some wire and fabric, wood sticks, papier mache and the plaster bandage - as well as more paint - out again next studio as we become inspired by different ways to build our ideas.

Now, I am including this video below because I really like the intro where it shows the artist's hand drawing/animating in stop-motion with sharpies -  and also how it shows the transition of the hand-made to the digital.  This trailer is really interesting because you can see and question the differences between what 'the artist' is doing/drawing/creating at the beginning of this kind of project and what 'the user' actually gets to do and create on the device.
This can be about how an interface can actually be virtual...or maybe, virtually actual :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week 2 Cinquain Mash-Up!

We worked on developing our ideas for our devices:
We talked through Form and Function with many examples of "devices" and the how and why of  our interactions with them. And we talked about Real and Virtual.
then compared this piece by Gladys Nilsson:
with one of the pieces in the New York Show in 2009 and came up with several visual elements that were similar: use of complementary colours, analogous colour groupings, bright colours, pattern, verticality, gesture, exaggeration and the fact that both were images of artworks and flat on the paper.

We had a lot of fun making up our own words, then making a 4 word poem with them, playing a bit with thinking outside of form and function. Some of you then made action word cinquains
(remember Alice Crapsey!!:) using your made-up words again, while others started sketching ideas in your sketchbooks.

We did some drawing on canvas too(just in case we want to paint next week), going off in many directions: drawing concepts, prototypes and finished devices and their possible functions. We then shared our ideas with the group.
We are looking each week to enrich our own ideas for devices we would build, and to discover what forms they will take both as a design and/or an artwork - let's call them our creations.

had a lot of conversation around 'modifications' as enhancements or improvements to existing(however fictional) objects -  and that originality in form and function are requirements for your own creations.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ah! ArtClub

A fun first session. Sorry that some of us were not feeling well after their awesome performances at Cross Country ~We'll catch you up:
We explored riddles, talked about the "I spy books" by Jean Marzollo and wrote a poem inspired by a prompt at Scholastic. Here is our version:
(Untitled ~aabb)
 Some sushi, some cheese, a purple Puffle,
A green penguin, Lillian, who trampolines on a waffle,

A Cyclops, a Pegasus, a Unicorn Crockpot,
A mustachioed red panda, dancing on the spot.

We started to draw different elements from our poem. Characters, ideas and storyboards emerged for: a quick stop motion project, a flip book and a comic book.

We looked at miniature works by photographer Christopher Boffoli and will continue to explore the idea of scale, and digital reality.

And we started the conversation and thinking on designing our own 'electronical' devices, which we will try to create over the coming weeks. We looked at examples of soft-sculpture works by artist Megan Whitmarsh:

And lastly we learned about the possibility of things being TRUE  but not necessarily ONLY TRUE or the WHOLE TRUTH, through a riddle of sorts ~ The Parable of the Blind "Men" and the Elephant(which we changed to 'blind People' and the elephant) and discussed how we can create a bigger picture of things together...then laughed to realize how a bigger picture still has a point of view:
Six blind elephants were discussing what men were like.
After arguing they decided to find one and determine what
it was like by direct experience.
The first blind elephant felt the man and declared -
“Men are flat.”
After all the blind elephants felt the man, they agreed.