Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Down to earth once more.

The two day workshop was wonderful and if I gained nothing else - and I gained a lot - I gained a small degree of confidence. I do hope I can hang on to it! Our mentor, Lis Mann, is an artist from Banbury (BA and MA so she knows what she's talking about) and so generous with her time, skills and materials. Although she kept us busy, there was no pressure and I found it very relaxing and liberating.

Our first exercise was to form into small groups and for each group to look at the same view through a window. We looked for a few minutes then wrote down what each of us had seen. It was astonishing how different our accounts were. A lesson in looking and seeing.

We were then asked to draw a rough geometric shape on brown parcel paper - I drew an oblong - and to write our christian name in lower case letters diagonally across the space, and our surname in capitals below, allowing some of the letters to reach and touch the outer edges of the oblong. Working in black, white, greys and silver we coloured the various new shapes which arose and doodled patterns in some to create a new design.

This exercise was repeated on black paper and coloured with oil pastels. I was surprised by how quickly the lettering disappeared.


We had been asked to take in one or two personal objects which Lis grouped together. We then selected a small area of this grouping, drew it and traced it -


enlarged it by eye and coloured it with whatever medium we chose. I used Promarker pens for speed and quick drying. Again the original shapes disappeared and new ones took over.

Useful discussion followed each exercise and probably took up more time than the tasks themselves. However, they were an important part of the two days.

On the second day we were invited to try materials and techniques we may not have used before. We used clay to find out how it could be modelled, moulded, impressed, carved etc.
I enjoyed handling the clay but it didn't 'ask' to be included in my work, so I returned my lump to the bag it came in and tackled something else.
We had been asked to take photos of landscapes, select one ...........................


make a tracing to simplify the detail ................................

enlarge it by eye and draw it onto primed canvas before collaging onto it ................

I used muslin for the trees in the background and bubble wrap for the rocky foreground and a large tree on the left. This will be removed or covered as I don't like the regularity of the bumps. I have a lot more to do to this before I can start adding paint and stitch and hope to be less realistic than normal and to try to be freer and more abstract.

We had also been asked to take in a large frame warped up with wire, in order that strips of torn fabric, yarns, lace, driftwood or anything else than could be persuaded through, could be woven. When the weaving is complete, it is cut from the frame and the wires secured to each other to hold the weaving in place, and it can be manipulated into a 3D form.
I have quite a lot more weaving to do before I reach that stage and will probably do nothing but fiddle with this piece, but it might lead to a more considered piece of work in the future.
There was no time to take photographs or to look at the wonderful array of art books Lis had brought for us to see. Once I get my nose in a book all sense of time is lost so I didn't dare to indulge myself. I didn't even stop for a cuppa during the day and came home gasping each day!
All in all it was a most satisfactory and enjoyable two days - many thanks to the members of our group who organised it and to Lis who is such a talented and inspiring lady.

I seem to have lost the title space for this post so am not quite sure what it will look like when I click on Publish Post.






14 comments:

Textile Art Showcase said...

Wow Heather - I think you have done a great job with all of the exercises that you had to do. I think it sounds like you had a really great time. The outcomes are super.

Carol Q said...

Sounds like a mentally exhausting two days to me Heather. Love what you've produced Heather. I can see similarities with the C&G Embroidery line module I'm following at the moment

maggi21 said...

What a wonderful two days you must have had Heather. The exercises are fascinating.

Doreen G said...

Fantastic Heather and I can see that it will all be useful knowledge for the future.
I have done similar workshops from several different tutors about ten years ago and the information that I learned then is still being used now.

Gina said...

It sounds like a fabulous workshop Heather. I love the results of your explorations.

WendyK said...

Wow, this looked like an amazing course. Love what you achieved with your samples. How brave of you to tackle it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Fascinating stuff Heather - I might try some of these ideas. I have this afternoon bought two books from an Oxfam shop, both on watercolour techniques. Am now off upstairs to try and prepare a few sheets to use in my book, using these books as a starting point. I will report back.

Kayla coo said...

Thank you for sharing your day and I love your weaving.x

Jules said...

They look good mum, I love the fact that you've stepped outside your comfort zone on them too, by using black and white and bright colours. What are you going to have me doing next art day?!?

BT said...

What a marvellous 2 day workshop you enjoyed. I can see how much fun the processes were. I might have a go at that landscape one - I love your results.

Your weaving looks like my raggy bags!

DIAN said...

I have just been doing a bit of blog reading to try to catch up. I love the projects you undertook at the workshop and the weaving looks especially interesting.

The bubble wrap is another interesting inclusion.

thanks for sharing these ideas.

Val said...

Just brilliant Heather - sll the stuff you came home with. Are you wanting to go more 'abstract'? If so you have some wonderful jumping off points there. I love the beginnings of the landscape - the white piece. Look forward to seeing that again ......

Linda said...

Gosh - what a lot you covered Heather; your pieces are fab!
The ideas are great...and quite intriguing; all different and all with potential. I love the landscape idea.
x
PS Thanks for the lovely comments...your cats name made me smile :-)

Julie said...

Sounds like a great 2 days. I did that name exercise some years ago in mixed media and cut it up for ATC bases. It's a great way to play with spaces and shapes. You have so much potential with all this material.