Monday, 12 December 2016

Families Learning Together!

I have loved teaching Art Journalling in schools this term.

The workshops have been part of the programme of Family Learning and have been designed to teach children and their adults and carers to explore, together, art techniques, relaxation strategies and the use of their imaginations to create wonderful journals full of their own ideas and designs.

I really wanted to teach this in a way that will make their journalling a lifelong habit. Hopefully a passion. A place to go for quiet, where they can find peace and solace in a crazy world. This new generation are going to need strategies to help them cope with the pressures that their life will present. 
We adults desperately need it too!

The  way that children and adults learn together is so valuable because whilst they are sharing the closeness of an enjoyable learning experience they often each approach it in a different way, with their own styles and talents. 

They learn a great deal from one another and an appreciation of the others skills. I have seen family members look at one another with fresh eyes! Issues have been discussed, support given and friendships made. All whilst they are making art!

It gives families a new hobby to enjoy together. I feel this is essential in a time when children are often isolated within their own minds, playing or learning on gadgets and technology that only involve one person. Parents too, are so stretched and stressed that finding time to relax as a family is sometimes very difficult. And yet, we are not meant to be solitary beings. We sometimes have to re-learn to be together. And how to share.

The lifelong learning outcomes have been so exciting. 
Some of the children have changed their Christmas lists to Santa! They have asked for art materials instead of gadgets and games. Their parents are amazed! 

The adults have made their own lists! They have found the relaxation and thrill of journalling is addictive and just don't want to stop! 

And they have all enjoyed doing the shared activity so much that they think they will approach the New Year with a new way of spending family time together. I'm so thrilled! I really am!

As an added bonus, this year I have had families in my workshops who last had the opportunity to work with me up to 4 years ago. They are still doing the activities they learned all that time ago and brought their work to show me. This has shown me that this kind of learning lasts. Long may it last.

I LOVE my job!!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Dancing Fairies

I think I'm addicted to Inktense pencils. I've been playing with them a lot! I've been teaching using them in Art Journals so they are always in my bag. They suit so many styles of colouring and artwork and are so easy to use.

Next year I'm doing a workshop on Whimsical Illustration so I thought I'd show you a little drawing I did lately. A Dancing Fairy.

She started out as a black and white drawing. I wanted an image that was like a paper doll that I could experiment with, cut out and resize. So here is what I did with her.

I resized her to a tiny size and copied the image 9 times. I thought I'd have them dancing in a circle. When I put them on the page the legs were curling up a little bit so I decided to leave them unglued to add to the dancing effect.

There was the space for a flower in the middle and between the fairies so I cut it out and coloured the background with the pencils, keeping the colours  light and fading into one another.

I've been experimenting a lot with holes in my pages and letting them show through  to interesting things on the following pages.

Soooo... On the next page is this!

And this!

At the top of the page is the fairy at full size, about 4 inches tall and coloured in. Its good fun to try to get extra uses out of your drawings and doodles especially if they take a long time to do. 
Give it a go and let me know how you get on.