Sunday, October 25, 2015
Life, as usual, has gotten extremely busy. The school year kicked off at the end of August, and the last two months have been a blur. Along with my full time teaching gig, there's been a webinar, a virtual art education conference, a guest speaker spot, an AP Studio Art workshop, work around the house, and of course making some art. And somewhere in all of that, I've been working on the JFJ's first official online workshop. We've done workshops for Strathmore Artist Papers and 21 SECRETS, and we've done webinars for a variety of folks. But this is our own thing hosted on our own online community.
I'm on track to launch the first workshop on January 1, 2016, but pre-registration will open November 27, 2015 with a special Black Friday sale. So if you're looking for the perfect gift to give yourself or someone you know, in one month you can buy our first online workshop at a great price.
So, it is my pleasure to share some information with you to tease what's in store!
Workshop Title: Cultivating Creativity: Working with Spontaneity and Wonder
This straight forward workshop is for anyone looking to connect with their creativity, whether you’re a beginner looking for fun ways to begin your creative journey or an experienced maker looking for new direction. Everyone can benefit from inviting a bit of randomness and chaos into their art making as a way of opening up and sparking new ideas, and this self guided course is designed to do just that. It will have you loosening up and looking at the unpredictable and the messy with a sense of possibility and wonder as you begin to purposefully cultivate spontaneous acts in order to set aside your fears of making mistakes and to spark creative leaps in your art. In this mixed media workshop, you will learn to embrace the surprises that arise from giving up a little control as you give yourself a chance to play and reconnect with your inner child. There are no prescribed outcomes or finished projects, giving you the room to discover and experiment without the fear of doing it wrong. Using a variety of basic materials, you will discover how unintentional marks and creative accidents can open you to the beauty of imperfections and break you out of your comfort zone. You will learn to use unconventional and unpredictable techniques, like dripping paint, dragging string, and bleeding marker, to jolt yourself into new artistic directions. These creative beginnings will have you embracing the messier and more chaotic side of life and art making.
This self-paced workshop is broken up into four parts with videos and written instructions so that you can spend as much time as you like immersing yourself in these experimental techniques.
Part 1: Playing with Paint
Part 2: The Unpredictable and the Accidental
Part 3: Randomness and Chance
Part 4: Where to from here?
The workshop will take place through the Journal Fodder Junkies Ning site, our online community. Membership to the community is free, and there are a lot of goodies on it now including a free workshop on basic watercolor and watercolor pencil techniques. So, if you haven't signed up, what are you waiting for?
I've got a lot of work to finish up for this workshop, but as I wrap up, I'll share more information.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
I've recently begun down a different road artistically. Inspired by several of my elementary students, I have begun a series of little monsters as a fun diversion from my I normally thing. And I have definitely been having fun with them. It's such a connection to my childhood, and with Halloween just around the corner, they're timing is apropos.
As a kid, I loved Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Actually, I still love it. I admired Sendak's illustrations so much, especially the Wild Things. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time copying characters from the daily comics, and I even went so far as to develop my own cartoon and comic characters.
But monsters and characters were something that I abandoned as I got more into drawing from observation wanting to make my drawings as realistic and naturalistic as possible. But it's good to let go, and have some fun with my art.
I first sketched these little guys on some drawing paper working out their shape and details. I then redrew them onto some Strathmore mixed media paper, and used my paint markers filled with Golden High Flow Acrylic to paint them. Each of these is 4in by 6in, and I'm hoping to put them up for sale on the JFJ website soon.
I really like how they turned out, and I am looking forward to making more. Let me know what you think of them.