I have been mad keen on the ‘fairytales and fables’ theme with all of my students. For older artists, I like to keep things a little open ended, so their brief was: “an image inspired by a fairytale”….very broad, I know. We have already had conversations about the ins and outs of fairytale lore…it’s not just the realm of little children, some of them give a great insight into the history of the day…(Did you know that in the timeframe of the Grimm brothers, it was not uncommon for women to die in childbirth…..so, the cliche of the ‘evil stepmother’ found in the most popular fairy tales has some roots in real life situations).
Anyway, I’m really pleased with their efforts; they researched and chose images that had some meaning for them, and learnt the subtleties of using watercolour to boot.
Pre-primary artists used corrugated papers and paint to make fairytale castles. This is a great activity to teach shape and texture. We achieved this in two 50 minute sessions, the first session we looked at the shapes found in old castles, and I demonstrated how to cut out shapes and assemble them onto the paper……so very important to demonstrate, I always have to remind myself that children are not mind readers!!! After doing some drawings of castle shapes, they cut out their shapes (some needed a little help- cutting castle turrets is hard work!), then glued them down onto black paper (we used pva glue). I was a bit torn between painting them the following week or using them to make prints….but I think the greater learning was achieved through just painting them. Young kids looooove colour mixing. I think the more of this they can do, the better. I love hearing shrieks of “oh wow I made gold/purple/green”….messy but worth it! I think these young artists should be very happy with what they have achieved.
Today was my first adult workshop I have facilitated in a very long time, and it was such a joy. My initial undergraduate degree, before teaching, was in counselling, and I have had a huge interest in art therapy. That said, I wanted to create a space that allowed for healing or growth through art, but as a by-product of the art exploration process itself -rather than being the main focus. I don’t want to go into a recount of our artistic musings today, rather, I just want to reflect some thoughts I am left with….
We need to be gentle with ourselves, our unique viewpoints and experiences. Everyone has creative inklings and expressions that are precious. The world needs to hear or see them.
Our inner critic needs to go on holiday sometimes.
Clarity is found sometimes in the most mundane pockets of our lives.
Our subconscious or dream life is not shy, sometimes the things we need to know are right in front of us.
There is a collective subconscious when we share dreams.
Finally….I’m just blown away by how amazing and intricate we all are, and what a privilege it is to watch creativity unfold.
My senior homeschool group have been working (meticulously!) on creating fairytale inspired silhouettes. We had a look at some artwork by Czech artist Divica Landrova (1908- 1982), noting the repetitive shapes and stylised images.
Students then researched some fairytale silhouettes using whatever device they had on hand (phones, iPad, laptops). They sketched their designs onto black paper, then cut out their image using a scalpel or Stanley knife. Some of their designs were very intricate! They then glued their composition on to white paper. These pictures show some of their work in progress!
Come and explore dreams and find out how to utilise them in our artwork. You will have the opportunity to explore collage techniques, and other mediums that work well with acrylic paint. Your final outcome may be abstract, representational or somewhere in between. Dreams have been used by artists for centuries for inspiration and artistic content. Think of Dali, Chagall, Klimt, Rousseau, Munch, Kahlo….
You don’t need to intentionally ‘remember’ or write down your dreams to attend; we can uncover the wisdom in our dreams simply by being in the ‘here and now’ (the ‘Gestalt’).
This is not an ‘art therapy’ workshop as such, however, the mere act of committing ourselves to creating has wonderful benefits. Making art is an amazing vehicle that helps clarify our thoughts and feelings and also lays down neural pathways for problem solving and healing.
Date: Saturday February 20
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m (afternoon tea included) Venue: My home Studio (Alyssa’s Art Garden), located in Medina (south of Perth).
Cost: I am offering my first workshop for free, since I would love your feedback so I can make them super awesome and relevant! I would ask, though that you bring your own canvas (a good size is 40 x 60 cm)
Register: Contact Alyssa on 0409 497 739, or msg me on my Art garden page.