Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cursory Observations

I wonder how many people have walked past this ....

its Quebec...
 but I'm not talking about the place, I'm talking about the book
"Cursory Observations made in Quebec, 1811"
As the title suggests it was written in 1811.
This copy is from 1960.

"Where are you from then?
exclaimed ten or twelve voices at once;-
From the clouds, gentlemen:-
By what conveyance?-
A balloon, gentlemen; which, if you had taken notice, landed me amongst the Hogs, and re-ascended most majestically;-
You stare, gentlemen; but it's very true."

The pages are a beautiful golden colour.
It has a wonderful smell that reminds me of a university library.

For $2 at Lifeline, it is a sensory bargain!

I hope I don't offend anyone here, but, I intend to use it for drawing and printing on-
so it lives on and can be shared and appreciated (hopefully) by many.
It is damaged in places so I don't feel too guilty about repurposing it.

The terrible photo below (sorry about that)
gives you an insight into where
Cursory Observations and I are headed...

"And now I take leave of my Readers;
informing them truly, that altho' I hope they are not fatigued
 or disgusted by the perusal of this little tract; 
yet they may rest assured I am perfectly happy it is finished."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Retro Cards for retro friends

I have this friend and it was his birthday today.
He looks a bit like this....

No! I'm joking (but I'm sure he does have a neanderthal side)

I been letting my subconscious work on this little bit of retro joy from 
"1,550 Fascinating Facts about the Universe, the World, and its People"
...a big call for a book, but it does have great pictures 
(unlike these photos which were taken last night at 11pm. 
Crap quality... sorry to offend your aesthetics )

Nothing like a bit of knowledge with a birthday card.

The inside says
 "Happy Birthday Man"

But that's not all..
We were also celebrating my other friend's big day at the same time.

I know! 
This is why I was up late.

Looks like a girl with party drinks right?

These images come from a science experiment book
"Cup and Saucer Chemistry"

Nothing left to be said.
Today it was.....

Christmas Book Bunting

Christmas is around the corner,
 so I've been getting some decorations ready!

I couldn't resist a little Aussie reference (below)
they are not snow white boomers,
 but I still seem to have Rolf Harris going around,
and around,
and around, 
in my head!
(and you know that's not a good thing)

This book bunting features
"The Animals' Christmas Eve" 

and "Babies First Christmas"

Yes, I know Bambi has nothing to do with Christmas...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stencilling and mixed Media

I'm not really sure if work days get any better than last Friday!

Once again, I had the good fortune to attend a workshop
 by Chris Stuart (Fine Artz Studio) focussing on Mixed Media.

Chris showed us many tricks of the trade with transfer techniques. 
All of which were wonderfully adaptable in the classroom and my own work!
But the highlight of the day was the insight I gained into the potential of stencil work.

Can't claim fame to this one unfortunately- this is by the lovely Lucy...
..and this is just part of the work.

We began the whole process by playing around with different stencils
 from a variety of places and we even cut some of our own from a product called ezi-cut.

As you can see we are reminded about the positive and negative,
 and the mirror image of a stencil to provide variation with repetition.

Chris gave us a sheet of watercolour paper which she had prepared with inks.
I really like this starting point because to me,
 there is nothing more distracting than a white surface.

 Lucy strikes again-look at the pattern in the black bird!

We applied our stencils with gesso: layering, using sponges, using rollers .
Then, we applied inks for colours.

We repeated this process over and over..
 blocking out areas... 
creating new areas...
adding & subtracting...
layer upon layer upon layer.

Can't claim fame this one either, unfortunately-this is by Marvelous Marcus!

Now... I'm no Banksy...

..but this process is totally addictive....
 and cathartic...
I really get it!

And if that isn't enough, when you are finished doing all of that stencilling,
you can work over it with pastels, or pens, or crayons...
pick your creative weapon of choice.

This one is mine. 

Tomorrow it is Friday once more...
 and so it's time for a wine whine...

Awww, I wish I was going to another Fine Artz workshop!

Thanks Chris.

Linking up this Elle and Lou post with:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3d Sculpture for Children

Kids love to build. 
They are naturally drawn to sculptural activities and relish in the challenges they bring! 

How simple are these 3d wonders?
 All we used was some bags of plain paper balls from a craft supplier (polystyrene balls would probably work too), black textas, a hot glue gun, bendy wire and pliers. The stands were pieces of throw away industrial plastic from Reverse Garbage

These sculptures are a great way to teach and clarify some of the elements.
 Children  (and adults) are often confused by shape and form but its easy really....a circle is a shape, but a sphere is a form. These primary school sculptures were achieved through a focus on shapeline and form (some elements of art). The students 'drew' line work on the spheres and through the manipulation of the wire.

Obviously balance (a principle of art) was also a major consideration both visually and structurally. The little artists loved figuring out how far they could 'push' the design before it physically tipped - some great problem solving resulted.

I did this with Year 6 but I could easily take it into the secondary school classes.  
This was fun, fun, fun! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ceramic Owls Children's Art

Don't look now....

but our art class have been busy creating a parliament of owls
 (isn't that a great collective noun?).

I actually prefer to call them ....
The Broody Bunch
(the owls, not my class)

They are so simple to make.
 This broody bunch was completed by my class of 10 years olds,
however,  my 6 year old made one just as easily!

My apologies for the quality of these photos,
 but I wanted to show you how I displayed them.
I cut out a tree from black paper making sure to include a hole in the middle and lots of spooky branches. Then I attached the owls and tree to the boards with velcro spots. 

These owls are found in many fantastic places on the net and I'm really not sure who began them- they look like something left over from the 70's school art scene to me
 (I mean that in a good way).

All you need is a:
 ball of clay
rolling pin /plastic cup/ dowel (to roll the clay
 texta lid ( or anything to create texture)

One Crayola Short has a great owl tutorial to follow,
 as does That Artist Woman- so check them out if you are interested.

We painted ours with glazes, but you could certainly use acrylics on air dried clay.
Alternatively, I'd love to try these with a polymer clay too and use vibrant fun colours.

I hope you give them a go...
we certainly had a hoot!

These and other art lessons are also pinned on my Pinterest boards.


Linking up Elle and Lou with these great sites: