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Painting at The Hope Center -week 2


Week 2 of the Hope Center painting project was truly a community effort.

This week we added mixed media to the project as participants employed oil pastels into their image.

Oil pastel (also called wax oil crayon) is a painting and drawing medium with characteristics similar to pastels and wax crayons. Unlike “soft” or “French” pastel sticks, which are made with a gum or methyl cellulose binder, oil pastels consist of pigment mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder.

The surface of an oil pastel painting is therefore less powdery, but more difficult to protect with a fixative. Oil pastels provide a harder edge than “soft” or “French” pastels but are more difficult to blend.

Tape was again used to create straight edges and to preserve colors and areas that were previously painted.

To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive. -Matthew Arnold

Letters and words were incorporated into the images this week to give a sense of direction, shape and form to the expression being created.

Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells. -Teresa Amabile

Creative cooperation was a big part of this evening’s effort as everyone learned to aid each other in a community effort.

Sometimes the best part is just getting some paint on one’s hands.

Painting allows us to experience the joy and wonder of the creative journey.

As you can see it was a productive evening of painting.  I hope you will join us next week to see how the journey continues or will buy a painting at the upcoming auction on May 12, 2012.

Paper mache pottery -week 1


We began our new class creating paper mache pottery this past week.

Participants learned about basic paper folding methods as well as various methods of building pottery.

Materials are very simple to begin with: newspaper and masking tape.

Learning how to create a coil out of paper is very similar to creating a coil out of clay….only with a different medium.

The next step is to learn how to roll up the coil to create the base of the pot.

Just like regular pottery, paper mache pottery is a very hands-on project.

Coiling is a method of creating pottery.  This method has been used in a variety of ways. Using the coiling technique, it is possible to build thicker or taller walled vessels, which may not have been possible using earlier methods. The technique permits control of the walls as they are built up and allows building on top of the walls to make the vessel look bigger and bulge outward or narrow inward with less danger of collapsing.

Next week we will begin the process of building the pottery after creating many coils.

 

Butterfly Day


The Art Junction held it’s second Family Art Day on March 31, 2012 with the theme of Butterflies.

Families had the opportunity to come together to create together.

Butterflies are a wonderful symbol of Spring and the transformation that is taking place in the environment around us during this season.

A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect  which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly’s life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea).

Butterflies like the Monarch will migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants.

Some butterfly species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage domestic crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination of some plants, and caterpillars of a few butterflies (e.g., Harvesters) eat harmful insects.

Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

When the butterfly larva is fully grown, hormones are produced. At this point the larva stops feeding and begins “wandering” in the quest of a suitable pupation site, often the underside of a leaf.

The larva transforms into a pupa (or chrysalis) by anchoring itself to a substrate and moulting for the last time. The chrysalis is usually incapable of movement, although some species can rapidly move the abdominal segments or produce sounds to scare potential predators.

The pupal transformation into a butterfly through metamorphosis has held great appeal to mankind. To transform from the miniature wings visible on the outside of the pupa into large structures usable for flight, the pupal wings undergo rapid mitosis and absorb a great deal of nutrients. Let’s see how the creative process is similar to the metamorphosis a butterfly endures.

Participants first painted coffee filter paper which, after drying, transforms into the butterfly wings.

While awaiting the drying process, families had the opportunity to create another type of butterfly.

Employing a technique called a “blotto panting”, families  could create another butterfly.

Blotto painting is a painting made by applying tempera paint onto one side of a sheet of paper, then folding the paper and pressing the two sides together.


Like an inkblot, a blotto painting is apt to be symmetrical and nonobjective. Making one is largely an aleatoric act — leaving much to chance.

Although the concept of symmetry is used in creating half of the butterfly design, much is left up to creative chance or a happy accident.

This project reflects much of the mystery of the creative process…we never quite know what the final results of a creative experience will foster.

This makes a blotto painting a transformative project, much like the pupa becoming a butterfly.

The next step in returning to the 3D butterfly project is to select a plastic bug body and a flexi stem for the antennae and to then put them together.

The final step in transforming the wings is to cut the coffee filter in half and the half shape into a rectangle.

The very last step in creating the wings is to create a thin fan fold from the rectangle shape and insert it into the bug body to create a 3D butterfly.

One of the goals in having a Family Art Day is to allow families the opportunity to create together.

We all have the desire to create something, and in our post-modern society there seem to be few opportunities to come together and create together.

We have many examples around us of the effects of the break-up of the family and community.

It’s time to come together and make a creative, transformitive change in our community.

When various ages work together, unity creates community.

Seeing generations create together passes on traditions and knowledge and understanding of where one lives.

We are not meant to create alone.

We were meant to work as a community, passing on our knowledge as well as learning from others, no matter what their age.

The community is the web of life that inextricably embraces, defines, and empowers children and adults alike. -Peter London

I hope you can join us for future classes, events, gallery exhibitions and creative opportunities to creatively transform our community.

Exploring clay


For the last class of the winter session, the home-school art students explored using oil-based clay.

Oil-based clays are made from various combinations of oils, waxes, and clay minerals. Because the oils do not evaporate as does water, oil-based clays remain malleable even when left for long periods in dry environments.

Oil-based clay is not soluble in water. It can be re-used and so is a popular material for animation artists who need to rework their models. It is available in a multitude of colors and is non-toxic. Oil-based clays are referred to by a number of genericized trademarks.

Oil-based clays are also suitable for the creation of detailed sculptures from which a mold can be made. Castings and reproductions in a much more durable material can then be produced. Items made from oil-based clays are not fired, and therefore are not ceramics. Because the viscosity of oils are inversely related to temperature, the malleability can be influenced by heating or cooling the clay.

Students learned about building with clay through various methods of slab, coil and pinching the clay.

Students explored hand-building traditional three dimensional shapes.

Students learned to roll coils, spheres and cylinders.

Part of the fun was exploring all of the many things your hands can do to turn clay into many exciting and wonderful three-dimensional objects.