Monday, April 30, 2012

ArtClub jr. Week 3

Great job! 

The group painting this week is very dynamic--the smaller canvas, and the light background seemed to help you to enjoy the brightness of our paints, blending colours with curiosity and enjoying some surprising results! You were very mindful of eachother's marks, with little prompting, which was just great to see...and it was exciting to see how you worked into what you found when it was your turn to paint. I think we do this each week but this painting seems so dynamic and unified too:  your efforts created a visual 'conversation' amongst all the parts of the painting... as if you were talking to each other, about something very colouruful, through the paint.

I love how you all figured out a unique approach to the clay challenge even when very inspired by eachother.
 Great details and added materials. That is mixed media: tree branches and clay and feathers and soon paint. These will be fun to paint this coming week. 

Heather and I really learned a lot from your presentations. You all found a "something that lives in something, and the something that it lives in", were very respectful of each others turn to speak, and shared your work with enthusiasm. That was fun. You may want to use your sketches next week.

We will look at the things in Spring that we find above the ground next studio!
Thank you.

ArtClub Week 3

This week we had a busy studio with much storytelling, and some quiet focus, as we developed our armatures for our papier-mâché sculptures ...and started building up our first layers too. We will need to add more layers next week, before we can decide what we really have to then paint, embellish and add external details ...although some of you are very clear about what you are making, we can still add features and other elements using our paper, wire, foil, tape, spheres and glue, to further define our creature characteristics.

Some of you were asking about our "big" project. And I said we are already doing it. We will work on circles and those logarithmic spirals going forward, both in drawing and painting...and words if you choose. And we will test out some ideas by making practice compositions - sketch some designs - to work into our canvas we continue with our 3-D creatures.

Thank you for a busy working studio with lots of great ideas!
(Pictures to follow.)


Sunday, April 22, 2012

ArtClub week 2

Jorge Mayet
De Mis Vivos y Mis Muertos   2008
Electrical wire, paper, acrylics, fabric
143 x 84 x 84 cm

Thanks for another challenging studio.

Our exercise this week was arduous for some of us.  Don't Panic! Drawing 'what you see' can seem like a difficult challenge before you start...too much thinking about potential judgements of truth and reality - in relation to skill, and maybe also, at your age, starting to realize your own vision is connected to how others see reality too? This can seem daunting... but we're really just trying to connect our eyes to our hands through an activation of 'being in the moment' so to speak. If that helps.  We're not expecting anything but effort from each other. That's why we call these exercises--or warm ups, if you prefer. Since we are a very non-judgmental group of collaborators in ArtClub anyway, it's only natural to expect that we each boldly risk trying new practices in our safe and friendly society. And truly, with only always awesome and inspiring results.

That's my speech. I learned a lot about each of you this week, and myself. Going forward we will go around the 'starts' of things a little bit to help us get right into the 'doing'.  I'm very excited and curious to see exactly how we're going to do that together!

You did some lovely work last week. I have less time than I thought to post pictures but these are very important because I want you to see how well you each drew, in so many different ways, to notice what you do well, and to learn through the experience of doing and reflecting. I think that's what we really call practicing. 
You each have unique approaches to your artmaking. As you learn to work through new and challenging experiences your ability to realize the skills you need, to build your vision, will grow.

We are continuing with our cycles this next studio. We will build these out through some papier-mâché constructions(as requested!). If you come prepared to construct something, then we can start to construct something, literally.

Also, think about ways your cycles end at their beginnings, but in a transformed state...and how you can show this. Draw or write some differences between the beginning and the end of your cycles - what are the different characteristics?How are they different? How do these differences indicate a transition? Asking yourself these questions might help you to visualize, or imagine, the different stages in your cycle and to inform and enrich details to add to your work next week, and going forward. 

I have some new paints to share, and some canvasses that we can also work on in a cyclical fashion for the rest of this session. 

Thanks for your excellent efforts this past week...and some very challenging insights during our explorations of roots and shoots...


And thank you Heather for our uprooted Tulip!

Spring Artclub Jr. Week 2

  Our Spring Forest is growing!

You worked so intensely on your snails, butterflies or worms and your traced roots and made very inventive connections between our creatures, their pathways, and how to join these pieces for exhibition.
We're  building a great inspiration board that we are sharing with the Big Kids ArtClub, and we definitely took advantage of these ideas. I'm inspired too watching you all work so well!
 Next week we will add something new to our forest trees. You can also make changes to this week's work, if you discover that you want to.
Thanks for your amazing energy and efforts towards these lovely results.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Spring ArtClub Jr.

What an exciting and energetic first meeting. I can't believe how great our trees look! We had a little bit of time to talk about and look at our trees while we were working on them and then, as we hung them up - it is very inspiring to hear and see all of your ideas. Here is the start of our Spring Forest:
You all took up the challenge today by working well on drawing and painting, and cutting too. 

 We explored textures, patterns, colours and feelings and also added ninjas, racoons and cranes, bugs and tree forts, leaves and flowers. We'll take up these ideas next week. Your 'trees' are very unique. We'll leave them up to inspire us to create more work as if in a Spring Forest!

(M. still has her tree to do and add it to our forest...with her many drawings and sketches : ) [Finished and included above!]

Remember if you do take your sketchbook home, to work in it a little and don't forget to bring it next week - you will need it again!

Our group painting today looks very dense and really foresty to me: for some reason you all favoured blues and greens and that nicely mixed "perfect potato brown"...[we added to this! See week 2!]

Thanks for a very exciting and productive first day!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Painting with Water - remaining to be seen

For our first studio, we worked on a large group drawing as we talked about different ideas of Spring, the concept of 'cycles' and the concept of 'local'. We all did a first drawing of a robin. We also tried to paint with the giant water brushes but our paper got very wet, very quickly. We'll wait for a warmer day, with some sun, to try this again outside on the asphalt.

If something is ephemeral, it changes over time, it transforms. Ephemeral things are 'transitory', changing states, seeming to disappear. Ice is ephemeral on a hot summer day, and a water painting on warm asphalt is ephemeral as it changes from a 'picture' to a 'memory' of a picture, or the memory of the activity of water painting. Much about Spring is ephemeral.

The word cartoon can mean a few different things to artists too. Traditionally, if you wanted to create a painting, you would draw or paint a 'cartoon' as a base layer to work out/plan tones, colours, or formal areas. This is a useful method for deliberately structuring a representation. I use a cartoon to paint portraits. It helps me decide what I want to do, where it needs to be done, and helps me to keep track of some of my original intention as I build up layers of colour and tone into a resemblance.

But... I also 'cartoon' as a way to sketch out a quick visual idea in a graphical way. Sometimes these cartoons, usually a contour type sketch, or very stylized graphic, is the final work.

You can find cartoons in artists drawings as much as in comic books, graphic novels and animations. In fact, old school cel animation uses 'cartoons' to make...cartoons! We also cartoon when we use our ipad or mspaint to draw things with graphical lines and colours. 

In what ways are cartoons ephemeral? (Ephemera is the noun.)

You all show a lot of interest in drawing things graphically, in a sort of diagrammatic explanation of what something is, or what actions are happening - and with the expectation that more conversation needs to happen to explain the drawing. This is an interesting possibility for our drawings.

This session, we can explore our own approaches to drawing through more drawing(and painting). As we draw and paint each week, we can look for our own connections between how each of us sees something, and what we are each saying about this something through our drawings and paintings.

Remember that n
ext studio we are looking at your 3 or 4 part 'Cycles'. We'll use these to help create our book works. Because we don't yet know how our work will look, we are going to create a mini book (our mock up ...which is also a cartoon of sorts). We will use this to play with our ideas, to help us visualize what we want to do for our finished books, and to help us keep track of some of our intentions~while new ones are forming!
Just a quick link to a water writing machine by Canadian artist/designer Nicholas Hanna.

A review of
'metaphor', for reference.

Something about artist David Ireland, fyi.

....and thank you for a challenging, and inspiring, first meeting!