Thursday, 29 January 2015

Art Circle: an exploded shed and & p.arty return...

Around 2002, I developed a method of making "difficult" artwork more accessible to new audiences., contemporary art in education went into schools and p.arty, engaged members of the public in community settings.  This week the lovely folk who came to Art Circle at St Annes Library shared the experience too. 

I'm not going to include images of the session this time because I will be taking a selection of artworks into Lytham Library in the future to share with the people of Art Circle who meet there and I don't want to pre-empt thoughts and ideas.
So apologies for that and here's work by two "revolutionary" artists or artists who work with circles instead.

 Cornelia Parker:  Thirty Pieces of Silver (silver & copper wire)  1988-9
Thirty Pieces of Silver:  detail
link to more info: Thirty Pieces of Silver

Cornelia Parker's work seems to defy gravity.  Thirty Pieces of Silver hovers about a foot above the floor so you look down to view it.  The shadows of the piece are part of the installation which move as you move around the work.  Captivating...  
Parker also depicted an exploded shed which is as eerie as it is captivating.  Do check it out on the Tate's website via this link.  "an exploded view" 

Andy Goldsworthy:  Snow Circle (snow) 1987 Japan  
Andy Goldsworthy studied at the University of Central Lancashire so a local artist too...
[He now lives in Scotland.]

If you would like me to bring or p.arty to your place, please contact me.

The sessions work beautifully with Arts Award and covers PSHE (personal, social and health education) and Citizenship in the National Curriculum from Year 5.  GCSE and A Level students have also used the session as a starting point for making their own work. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Art Circle at Lytham Library...

Art Circle at Lytham Library...

starting Wednesday, 11th February 2015
11 - 12.30 
Cost:  £2.50 (some weeks slightly more depending on materials)

Art Circle at St Annes Library will continue on Thursdays, 11 - 12.30
Cost:  £2.50 (some weeks slightly more depending on materials)

Still Life, charcoal & goodbye to grids... for now

We looked at a very brief history of still lifes.  How they evolved from being portraits of wealth to vehicles to develop individuals' visual language:  from photorealism to every other art movement we have given a title to.  
Still lifes are a low cost, accessible way to develop drawing and painting skills.

Willem Kalf (1619–1693), oil on canvas
Paul Cezanne:  Still Life with an Open Drawer 1877–1879 
Piet Mondrian:  Still Life with Ginger Pot (1911)
We approached ours by using a straight edge to enable measuring heights and widths by sight and determining differences from the vertical and the horizontal.  Once the drawings started to evolve they became as individual as those who made them.  

We went on to explore how charcoal can add depth by smudging and redrawing and finally we gave definition by carefully adding white pastel.

The finished pieces were "revealed" by removing the "frame" of masking tape. 


Beautiful results - well done everyone!

Next time we're going to consider how and why artists work in a particular way.  Plenty of room if you would like to join us...

Friday, 16 January 2015

Art Circle: Chuck Close, Sir William Coldstream, Leonado da Vinci and Grids...

Over the last two sessions we have been experimenting with using grids to copy images, alter scale, isolate sections and to check proportions and relationships of the shapes making up the picture. 

The points of reference below are followed by the group's work.

Self Portrait in Progress:  Chuck Close
Chuck Close, "My paintings are built incrementally, one unit at a time... I push little pieces of paint up against one another. .... and I slowly build these paintings, construct them, in the way someone might crochet or knit."

Bridget Riley:  Hesitate 1964
By altering the height of the grids across the upper middle section, Riley alters how we see a flat surface.  The different tonal values emphasise the optical distortion to create an apparently curved image.

Alberto Giacometti:  sketch book with squared pages
Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I've included this Giacometti sketch book.  Squared paper... not only grids as guides but perfect for writing and project budgets...

Leonardo da Vinci:  use of grids
Leonardo da Vinci, artist or scientist?  Many describe him as an 'artist-engineer'. His art was scientific and based on a thorough understanding of the human body and rigorous study of the physics of light and shade:  his science was expressed through his drawings which illustrated exactly what he meant and how he understood things to work.

Sir William Coldstream:  use of grids  
Coldstream gives us beautiful examples of how grids can be used to build drawings and paintings and how they become integral to the coherence of the piece.

We will be exploring this approach next week.

Sir William Coldstream:  Reclining Nude 1974 - 76

Graham worked slightly differently:  he found laying the grid over enlarged print-outs of his photographs enabled a more theoretical understanding of what he intuitively found interesting in the composition.

Lovely work, well done everyone.