Thursday, 15 December 2016

Great Northern Christmas Tree

We've spent the last couple of weeks looking at stars in art and how to make two dimensional stars into 3 dimensional ones.  All of which has culminated in our Christmas Tree for St Annes Library.  [ Many thanks to Booths for letting us use their Great Northern Christmas catalogues. 😊 ]  

Well done everyone and thank you for being adventurous and such good company!
Have a joyful Christmas and very best wishes for 2017.

Art Circle returns to St Annes Library on 11 - 12.30, Thurs 9 February 2017

and a bit of folding...

Friday, 2 December 2016

stars in art: pastel on lining paper

Following the National Gallery's lead, we're looking at stars in art and using them as starting points for different processes, scale and expressions in visual art.

This will culminate in our Christmas panel at St Annes Library.

This week our starting point was The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh which, if you know the painting, I think you would have guessed.

The following pieces were between A3 & A2 in size and pastel on lining paper was used.
Fabulous results - well done everyone!





Saturday, 26 November 2016

I am grateful for ...

...knowing Dr Jan Goss

A little while ago when planning Art Circle sessions, I thought creating something around "gratitude" would be appropriate for Thursday, 24 November, Thanksgiving Day.

Within 24 hours of making that decision, Dr Jan Goss published the article, "PositiveExpectation 'vs' Negative Bias".  This was the starting point for the activity.

The books we made and their content is mostly personal, plus I forgot my camera again... so no images however do read the article:  it's something everyone can do and from experience it works.

Thank you Jan.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

playful portraits...

Continuing from last week, this week we made self-portraits or images that portrayed an aspect or aspects of ourselves.  Most excellent... 

Dorothy:  cycling, fairy fantasy & talking nuts! 

Norma:  favourite flower earings, the love of the theatre and a dislike of clowns 

Monica:  fast cars, family & frightening films

Monica:  detail

Sheila:  holidays, blossoming & vibrancy 

Angie:  nurturing nature for nutrition

Christine:  a compendium     

Friday, 4 November 2016

beautiful bonfire blessings...

Following in the tradition of the wealthy burying live animals, slaves and wives with them alongside valuable artefacts and money, the practice of burning paper models of worldly goods to ensure the dead are well supplied in the afterlife dates back millennia.
Although less commonly practised today, this ancient funeral rite has been updated by the inclusion of paper sculptures of modern technology, fast cars and luxury items.  All carefully made and then burnt as part of a ritual.
To an onlooker, the paper sculptures can be seen as a temporary, life portrait of the deceased or maybe their unfulfilled life aspirations poised to be experienced in the afterlife.
Our task was to make something from paper that represented an ancestor which we could add to a bonfire as a blessing.

However... when trying to transfer them from my phone they disappeared into the ether much earlier than planned.  Thank you Angie for forwarding yours and apologies to the others - your work was beautiful too. x 

Christine:  I spent some very happy holidays with my grandmother who made me dresses.  This is for her...

Angie:  Joan of Arc just came into my head so here she is...

Dorothy:  In memory of my dad who loved gardening and was a printer in the printworks, Manchester.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

lips, frazzled Grandma and Flanders...

Well - what a morning!  The excellent results are below. 

Introduction to Dada

Dada artists felt the war called into question every aspect of a society capable of starting and then prolonging it – including its art.  Their aim was to destroy traditional values in art and to create a new art to replace the old.

As the artist Hans Arp later wrote: 
Revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts.  While the guns rumbled in the distance, we sang, painted, made collages and wrote poems with all our might.

In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left.

The founder of dada was a writer, Hugo Ball.  In 1916 he started a satirical night-club in Zurich, the Cabaret Voltaire and a magazine which, wrote Ball, 'will bear the name "Dada".  Dada, Dada, Dada, Dada.'  This was the first of many dada publications.  Dada became an international movement and eventually formed the basis of surrealism in Paris after the war.

Leading artists associated with it include Arp, Marcel DuchampFrancis Picabia and Kurt Schwitters.
Duchamp’s questioning of the fundamentals of Western art had a profound subsequent influence.

Man Ray, who wrapped a sewing machine was also seen as part of Dada.  Christo was influenced by Man Ray.  [Art Circle 22 September:  Christo, wrapping & pink rubber...]




Monica:  forever and a day

Angie:  poor Grandma who was a bit frazzled


Dorothy:  Scarce heard amid the guns below. (Major John McCrae: In Flanders Fields)

Dorothy:  We shall not sleep, though poppies grow (Major John McCrae: In Flanders Fields)

Thursday, 20 October 2016

autumnal objects, shapes & marks...

Natural items gathered from gardens and hedgerows were the starting point this week.

We found shapes in the objects and then developed those shapes into drawings, in one case around a geometric shape.  

Some excellent mark making and use of colour...
Well done everyone! 

Mike:  sycamore seed
Mike:  sycamore seeds

Dorothy: pine cone
Dorothy:  seeds from a pine cone
Angie:  a weed 1
Angie:  a weed 2  

Angie:  rose hip  

Monica: rose hips

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Tonking, Durer's Grid and a laid back scarecrow...

Last week we drew from life - a bumper harvest of apple and pears provided the subject which we depicted using charcoal on paper.  

We explored Tonking which was named after Henry Tonks (1862 - 1937), a method of wiping out the drawing and reworking on top to create depth and a dynamic to the piece. It takes a brave soul to do this for the first time then it's sometimes difficult to stop...   

Apologies, someone forgot to take the camera so only Angie's work is shown here, however everyone else's was fab too.    

However, I did remember the camera this week.  (see below)

We looked at Durer's Grid which is a Renaissance drawing aid, and experimented with enlarging images and then either distorting them or drawing them without the grid.

Very interesting results and definite improvement in the drawings made.  
Well done everyone!

Christo, wrapping & pink rubber...

a catch up...

The starting point was looking at the work of Christo from his earlier objects to his latest, The Floating Piers 2014 - 2016.

"For sixteen days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 – Italy’s Lake Iseo was reimagined. 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, undulated with the movement of the waves as The Floating Piers rose just above the surface of the water."

Then we had a go!  
Thin cotton fabric (an old sheet) and string served as materials which was supplemented later by rubber. 
Great fun and impressive results - well done everyone.