It been a while since I last blogged (bad Emma), so I thought I would get the ball rolling again with showing you what I got up to on the ‘Miniature Modern Marks’ workshop I ran this morning at The Beetroot Tree.
Timed to link in with the gallery exhibition ‘Makers Mark’, this workshop was about investigating mark making with a variety of materials and tools before using shrink plastic to create a final piece.
As you can see, we created quite a mess, but it was worth it in the end!
Its just over 3 weeks til Christmas! And to get me in the mood I spent a wonderful Monday morning teaching Christmas wreath making at The Beetroot Tree. Here are just some of the fabulous wreaths made by the ladies. Its amazing what you can do with some electrical cable and random fabric scraps!
Last Monday I did something a bit different with the lovely ladies who go to The Beetroot Tree Gallery each Monday for the ‘Try-Its’ workshop. Normally I do jewellery and mixed media based workshops but this time I did a drawing one, using wax resist.
I will let you into a secret, despite my Fine Art degree I have never been the best drawer. But at college I told my tutor this and they suggested I draw the way I paint, buy using shapes, form and tone. I realised, I don’t see the world as being made up of lines, but as shapes. By putting down the pencils and using chunky charcoal and graphite sticks I found drawing much easier! The basis for the workshop was this piece I did at college, which used a candle to put in the highlights before applying a wash of ink.
My original drawing from 2001
I wanted to do something similar, but I knew they would find it challenging to draw this way, so I started with some speed drawing and blind drawing exercises to get them to really look at an object and not just draw a generic version. Our brain always wants to help us out by saying ‘hey, you know what a coffee mug looks like, you don’t need to look at this one to draw it!’. But that wouldn’t be an accurate image of the particular coffee mug, right here now, in this light and from this angle. And to me, that’s what drawing is about; detailed looking rather than detailed reproduction.
While I think they were unsure of what we were doing to begin with, I think most people went away having learnt a new way of drawing and with a piece they were proud of. And so did I.
My final drawing from the workshop
* A lot of the techniques and exercises I used came from the following books, which I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn to see and draw.
Exciting news! I am going to be at The Beetroot Tree, in Draycott, Derbyshire teaching some of their ‘Try Its’ workshops on Monday mornings! The Beetroot Tree is a beautiful gallery, cafe and workshop venue, running lots of interesting art and craft workshops from full day specialist (in fact I attended one back in October 2009!) so it is a pleasure to be working with them. I currently have dates for April 9th – Spring Earrings, April 16th Sliding Knots, May 28th Beaded Cord Bracelets and on June 4th, British Bunting Necklace- just in time to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee! There are still a couple of place left on these, click here to find out more and book your place! More June workshop dates will be available soon. Take a look at the wonderful array of other classes and workshops taking place, including other Monday morning Try Its from Textile Artist Emma Learoyd and Beetroot tree owner Alysn Midgelow-Marsden!