Term 2 Art Classes

This year is flying by and I am pleased to offer the following classes for term 2. Classes run for 8 weeks at $96 per child or $15 per child as a casual rate (payable each week). This term we will be looking at artists from the Renaissance period, starting with making our own egg tempera paint.

Primary Homeschool art group:

Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m-12:00p.m

Starts: 26/4/16 -15/6/2016

Highschool art group:

Wednesday mornings at 10:30-12:00

Starts: 27/4/16-16/6/2016

After School art groups (all ages from grade 1 up)

Tuesday afternoons at 3:30-5:00

Starts: Tuesday 26/4/16-15/6/16

Wednesday afternoons at 3:30-5:00

Starts: Wednesday 27/4/16-16/6/16

Enquiries/ bookings : msg me on Facebook or text 0409497739

 

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Whimsical Watercolours

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.

 

 

Intuitive painting: exploring dreams in art

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.

My year of teaching art: 2015

image“It has been such a sad loss to have my lovely little school in Kwinana close due to lack of funding. The kids, teachers and parents were all heartbroken. It makes me kind of annoyed that the government could not see the value in funding us because we are too small. Small schools are such an asset. Many kids are overwhelmed by big schools; This is hardly surprising, as so much individual attention can be given when class sizes are small. The other school where I teach, has also taken knocks this year, having to reduce their staff dramatically. Again it is a beautiful, small, nurturing school. Fortunately I still have one day there as their art specialist.

2015, as always has been very chaotic at different points. In the second half of of the year I organised an exhibition for both of my schools. One was held at a community venue, the other at the school’s multi-purpose building. These are always huge undertakings, and are a fantastic opportunity for kids. Students always put extra effort into their work, and they help with the curating and openings. These pictures are from both of my schools, and remind me of the reason why I love what I do- seeing those faces beaming over something they have created….art is really so very valuable 💜

Aboriginal Cave Art

My year 4/5/6 students created some aboriginal cave paintings. We gave our paintings the texture and look of rock surfaces by using coloured plaster of paris on hessian fabric. I created a PowerPoint showcasing cave art. We discussed the features of ancient aboriginal cave art, including how they painted animals in an x-ray fashion-showing the bones for decorative effect. The most important aspect of cave art is that it was a vehicle for storytelling. Some of Australia’s cave paintings are up to 15000 years old.

First students designed their rock art painting based on some of the images in the slideshow. I was pleased that most students used this to inform them when it came to doing their painting. This was important, because ancient artists did not have pencils, they would have gone straight into their painting on the rock. We surmised that perhaps they practised their designs by drawing in the sand first.

Continue reading “Aboriginal Cave Art”

Alien Landscapes

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My Grade 3/4 and 5/6 classes both created ‘Alien landscapes’. First, we brainstormed movies we had seen that included an alien landscape (for younger students we unpacked the idea of ‘alien’, that it can have some features of earth, but different). Students  came up with movies such as Green Lantern, Star Wars, Avatar and Planet 51. I wanted children to use a horizon line to map out where the sky and land meet, and encouraged them to think of the different landscape features on planet earth (such as cityscapes, deserts, rainforests), and how they could be altered. Students made preliminary thumbnail sketches, then lightly drew their designs using pencil. For their final piece, the older group used dry pastel and the younger ones used watercolour. This provided another teaching opportunity, in the characteristics  and possibilities of the materials. Both provide good colour saturation with a fair amount of control.

Most important, though, I think this project inspired their wonderful creativity and they really expressed their imaginations.

Acrylics vs Oils

After using exclusively acrylic paint for several years, I was recently inspired to take up the oils once more. I have only done a handful of paintings with oils, and my reason for ditching them was due to impatience. I reasoned that acrylics dry faster, so you can paint over the top creating layers of colour for interest. Oil paints are far more sumptuous colour wise in my opinion, however. For some reason I never realised that you can simply wipe away areas with a turpsy rag or brush, making paintings easy to renovate just like in acrylics (one of my reasons for turning to acrylics).
Oil paints seem to cover large areas of canvas more easily and you feel a bit like a sculptor when using thick paint (note to self: buy a pallet knife, a very useful tool for scraping back paint, adding sharp areas and cleaning the pallet!)

For those colourists who are concerned with detailed accuracy ( that’s me only sometimes), acrylic colours flatten off and change to be slightly lighter. I have noticed this when doing skies or faces, but because my style is somewhat expressionistic, this factor has not really bothered me. I often work on textured recycled canvas anyway, so I see it as part of the overall effect akin to varied brush strokes. The flattened effect of acrylics is something I address using loads of glossy varnish. The reason oil paints don’t change in their colour or consistency is because oil paint doesn’t actually dry, it cures.

I was confused about the mediums to use to thin oil paint down, but after asking a few knowledgable people, I decided to keep it simple: odourless artist quality turps to was brushes and wipe back areas of paint, and the Art Spectrum no.1 medium for mixing. The mediums are a mixture of linseed oil and artist quality turps, so it’s just more convenient than doing it yourself. The no.1 medium is the thinnest (paint will crack later if you apply to much linseed oil under thinner applications).

So… The verdict? At the moment I am in love with oils but not inclined to give up acrylics either. If I do plein air work, I will go for oils because you don’t need water, and you don’t have the problem of paint wastage due to speedy drying. Acrylics are wonderful when I want to paint lots of layers quickly… And just when the mood takes me, they lend themselves to different marks, and are great in mixed media operations.
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Acrylic paint. I use atelier interactive, usually. At times it’s anything I can afford. I bought some cheapies recently (global) which were not very opaque, so a bit frustrating to use. I’ll probably use them with my kids.

 

 

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My oil paints. They are art spectrum mostly.

 

image a close-up of an acrylic painting. You can see how it ‘flattens’ when it dries (especially in the darker areas)

image a close-up of an oil. I used heavy brush-strokes. Colour and shine holds. Although I will probably still varnish, because I love shine!