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Art is more than drawing and painting, it permeates many aspects of our lives. This term we were inspired by just that and looked at art as design The teens created wearable art, the Arising Artists created fabric designs for their own aprons as the first project. Below is a overview of what we covered

We started by looking back into history at the artworks of the Futurist Movement and artist Giacomo Balla and moved to wearable art. For the younger ones in the 7-12’s bracket this meant looking at patterns and paintings, how it could be both a work of art on the wall, or alternatively be turned into a textile to be worn. For us this term it launched us into creating a design that could be painted and worn on an apron.

The teens had more creative decisions to make and I challenged them to make an artwork that could be worn. Perhaps not in everyday use, but it could be on stage in a theatre performance or perhaps worn to a fancy event! There was felt, wool, fabrics, different types of paper, polymer clay, jewellery findings, shrink plastic, headbands and fascinator bases. The project was quite open ended, so there are many varied results. Some practiced using tools to make jewellery, others began to learn how to wet felt and needle felt, some worked with polymer clay, others had a mixed media approach, and tried a few materials together. A great experimental project that I think was more challenging than most anticipated.

The artists 7-12years practiced their drawing skills next. We did a series of drawing exercises designed to practice their hand/eye co-ordination ( a bit like you would in sport, but for art!) There were timed drawing exercises, opportunity to use pastels, charcoal as well as pencils (some even tried ink and tempera paints!) The wonderful thing about drawing many images in a short period is that you begin to observe what it is you are drawing, make creative decisions, get a bit looser in your style and gain confidence as they do get better.

These drawing exercises became a launchpad for many for their glass painting, which everyone had a go at We learnt about stained glass and how the glass artisans used it to adorn places of worship. As artists got involved the imagery evolved and the techniques and methods evolved as well. This lead to each student making a design for their own ‘stained glass’ window. It could be a pattern, or a story or memory of significance for them. Wherever possible, the artist was challenged to use their own imagination rather than characters and ideas that already exist! We used glass paints which behave very different to regular paint – more like the consistency of honey according to one artist!

Finally, we watched a film about the artist Max Ernest who used the method of frottage (most would know the more common term ‘rubbings’) to make his artworks based on the natural landscape in his environment. He used grains in wood, tree leaves and domestic textures to make artworks that often featured animals. The artists had to look for textures in and near the studio, then apply them to create animals and images of their choice just like Ernst!!


The Home Schoolers Art workshops.

Our first task was a sculptural project, working with clay. Each made a similar form using coils, and had to create a story around the form. The story was to have meaning for the artist, it could be a memory, a family story, an idea that always swirls in their mind. Artworks of Australian artist Wendy Winsley and those from Monte Lupo Studio in QLD were used as our inspirartion!

We drew from objects and items we could see using a range of drawing excercises designed to warm up our hand eye co-ordination, practice seeing what things actually look like, rather than making it up! over time, you do begin to see how things actually look, each creates lines and marks that are unique to them, and confidence in drawing grows!

After some drawing practice our next task was learning about Lino cutting and printing! A method where a drawing is replicated multiple times, and was once one of the ways images and books were printed! Inspired by the artwork of Neil Curtis in The Cat and The Fish and how he used Lino cuts to create the artworks. Each artist learnt how to carve safely so the tool won’t cut you, then how to ink up the plate and of course printed a small series through the printing press.

Finally, we watched a film about the artist Max Ernest who used the method of frottage (most would know the more common term ‘rubbings’) to make his artworks based on the natural landscape in his environment. He used grains in wood, tree leaves and domestic textures to make artworks that often featured animals. The artists had to look for textures in and near the studio, then apply them to create animals of their choice just like Ernst!