First Steps in Art Making

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People often say to me when I’m exhibiting “oh, I’d love to paint” or when I ask, usually as a conversation starter, “do you paint?” they say, “oh no, I’d love to, but I can’t, I’m not creative.”

This saddens me, as I think that everyone is innately creative. That the impulse to make something new is pretty much hard wired into us and it’s unfortunately only negative experience that leads to us believing we cannot.

However although this is what I think now, it hasn’t always been the case.

My personal journey has been a mixed experience. Thankfully some of my very early introductions to art were positive. I can remember going to the local Saturday art group for children when I was quite young and enjoying that. My next really significant experience of art happened when I was a teenager. I had a really cool ceramics teacher who was happy to let me and a friend hang out in the pottery room during break and lunch times. Still, whilst it was ok to do art as a pastime or a break from academic work, the possibility of taking it further wasn’t really an option. Unfortunately the messages I was carrying at this time would have been something along the lines of “you can’t make money from art, or make a career out of art,” ” why do you want to be an artist,” “you’ll never be good enough” etc etc. all pretty unhelpful stuff.

Over the years I have been able to reframe these limiting beliefs and I am now a successful part time professional artist who exhibits and sells work. I run art workshops and coach. I’m passionate about supporting and helping others in their creative journey. Either people who have already experience as an artist and want help with developing their practice, or someone who is right at the beginning looking for their first experience in art.

Because I have had to deal with my own negative messages about being creative means I can understand how to help others. My workshop First Steps in Art is all about helping people who are completely new to painting and drawing. You can read more about what to expect on the day here. The basis of the day is to introduce materials in a simple way and give people a fun experience of art making that helps them to build confidence.

Mostly I draw on my own early experiences of getting back into art. I remember how important it was to have lots of time to discover how to do things along with clear instructions and support. I wanted to chance to see what was out there, to experiment and learn how to use different materials and see what they could do. I also needed to leave the session feeling like I had done something I could be proud of, to boost my self belief and encourage me to keep on making art.

I hope to offer some of this in my one day course First Steps in Art coming up on Monday 10th February. Sound of interest? If you’ve question about the day, please message me using the contact form below otherwise click here to book your journey into art making.

I’d love you to join me for a fun day of exploration and play.

Abstract Landscape Workshop: what can you expect?

IMG_20180610_180428We’ll be spending the day together at a lovely venue, The Old House Studio in the middle of open countryside about 3  miles from Glossop.

We will begin with some simple ideas about how to compose abstract paintings, as well as spending half an hour looking at abstract work to get some ideas of why these works are successful.

To loosen up and get us in touch with landscape we will then spend an hour or two sketching and painting outside. The Old House Studio is ideally situated for this as it is overlooking part of the Pennine Way with stunning views up and down the valley. There is a useful terrace outside the main studio where we can assemble with all our gear, making it easy for us to paint outside without having to carry lots of materials with us.  The sketches will form a loose reference point for the paintings we will then go on to make.  We my even use some of the sketches later as collage materials if that is the direction the work takes.

IMG_20180610_180857Having connected to the scenes around us, we will move to beginning our final paintings.  For these we will be using wood panels as it allows us greater scope for creating surface texture.

We begin on a gessoed panel with intuitive play. Laying down paint in a free and spontaneous fashion to both cover the surface and provide an initial jumping off point into a more finished composition.

Finished with play,  we will begin to bring intention into the composition creating landscape forms and shapes.  I will be demonstrating how I make decisions in my painting and sharing my thinking with you.

Along the way I will demonstrate various techniques including how to use oil pastel, line, scratching, sanding and scraping paint, collage.

The workshop is for people with some previous experience of painting but this is not essential, and absolute beginners are welcome.

With a few places left,  if you are interested then please use the contact form below.