Whether you believe in New Year's resolutions or not, the month of January feels like a new beginning for all sorts of things. How do you make the most of that momentum and make positive changes to give your art a jump start?!
Getting back into a routine and finding time for your own interests can be difficult after the festive season but it's also the perfect opportunity to take any revived inspiration and enthusiasm and try something new. These are my top tips for making the most of your New Year fresh start:
Whether you feel you have any artistic talent or not, we were all born with the need to express ourselves in whatever form that may take. I believe that creative expression benefits our brains and our mental health, making us happier, healthier people. Read these 5 ways art makes a difference:
I love my Artistic Retreats studio but I know that it’s not always easy for people to spare the time and travel there, my workshops might clash with an existing commitment, so I also love taking my materials and ideas out on the road, visiting people in their own home – I call it Art@Home.
February has seen two trips to WI Denman College. At the beginning of the month we explored Mixed Media canvas techniques, including crackle effects, structure paste through stencils, applied mixed media, adding texture & dry brushing. We even raided the tea bags & tea stirrers to add to our artworks!
Well 2017 has certainly started with some excitement! Powertex UK have launched a Design Team this year for the first time, & I've been chosen to be one of the team!
Each design team member has been chosen for their unique style, background & experience so there will be some interesting projects developed over the coming year.
It is always nice teaching at WI Denman College. Witha longer course there is more time to develop students understanding of the medium & a chance to create a more ambitious piece of art.
Our courses are never prescriptive, allowing students to explore the medium in their own style & this Stone Art couse was no exceptions.
There is always lots of art pieces in the Artistic ReTreats studio to provide inspiration to our students, but on occasion this has lead to students changing their mind about the course they would like to do.
One such occasion was a recent group of students who had booked to do the 'Sculpture in a Day' workshop, but on arrival they spotted the fairy houses that had recently been made for an artist's event at NT Stowe Landscape Gardens & asked if they could make them instead.
We always welcome requests for tailor made courses & are happy to put together a course to make a special project or for a combination course over a longer duration than our standard workshops.
An example of this was when we had a customer who wanted to make a tiger sculpture as a present for a friend who runs a wildlife park, and in addition wanted to try her hand at a Mixed Media canvas & a Funky Fish.
One of the lovely things about being a certified Powertex tutor is the way that all of the tutors share tips & techniques, so that we can all learn from each other. Every summer, Powertex UK host a tutor retreat at their HQ in Warwickshire, loving known amongst the tutors as 'Tex Towers'.
We were excited to bring our Figure Sculpture Workshop to Denman College, the renown craft college of the W.I. for the first time this May. As the course was to run over a weekend, we also added in a little something extra, with not only one sculpture being created, but two.
On the Friday evening there was a general introduction to Powertex products, a chance to see some examples of work & ask questions, & each lady chose the plaster head that they wanted to use on their sculptures before having the rest of the evening at leisure.
The studio was all set up ready for a Bottle Bling workshop today, but on arrival our students admitted that they really wanted to do the Mirror Frame Workshop instead. No problem - a quick change over of a few key items & one Mirror workshop ensued!
Unfortunately there were only enough mirror Frames in stock for the students, but with a little improvisation, a wall plaque was produced as the demo piece, as the basic principles of textile sculpting are the same for both projects.
This workshop came about at the request of a customer who had seen some Triptych Art on the Powertex UK stand at the NEC Hobbycrafts Show & wanted to create a piece herself. As she lives in the Milton Keynes area, Vitreus Art was the perfect venue to run the workshop, & the owners, Jenny Timms & Mike Caddy kindly agreed to host the event.
On the day of the workshop, we started with a little warm up exercise to make a mini mixed media canvas before moving on to the main Triptych, where our students learnt how to create balance across the three pieces to make them work as a whole, whilst making each piece different in it's own right.
Today we ran a fantastic Mirror Workshop at the Artistic ReTreats Studio, with everyone creating their own unique mirror frame from recycled textiles & Powertex products.
This is a great workshop if you are new to textile sculpting, creating a practical & decorative piece for your home.