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Plein Air Class


Our Painting and Drawing Outdoors class is in full swing as the participants are exploring the landscape around the Art Junction.

En plein air  is a French expression which means “in the open air”, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, which is also called peinture sur le motif (“painting on the ground”) in French.  Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism. The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes). Previously, each painter made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil.

Unfortunately the high heat and humidity has driven us indoors for the painting portion of our sessions.

It has been a great experience to explore the landscape of the area we live in and interpret it through drawing and paining.

Everyone interprets the world around them in a different manner, some in a more realistic manner, while others explore the shapes, colors and lines that surround them.

The great fun of creating in community is the ability to see, learn and explore the visual world that surrounds us no matter the media or style you choose to employ.

 

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Selected drawings, paintings and sculptures since 1997 by Bruce Bitmead

 

at The Art Junction

2634 Prairie Street, New Haven, Ohio 44850 next to the New Haven United Methodist Church

Regular Gallery Hours:

Fridays & Saturdays July 21 – August 18, 2012 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

*Special showings upon request!

Bruce Philip Bitmead was born in Buffalo, New York in 1963 and graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1983, starting to paint in earnest that same year.  He has been exhibiting his works steadily since 1987, mainly in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York, with solo shows in California and London, England.  Bitmead spent much of the 80’s and 90’s employed as a graphic designer and illustrator in Chicago, but returned to Buffalo in 1998, where he concentrates on his personal work.  Bitmead is no stranger to North Central Ohio, having served as an artist in residence in the 90’s at Black River Local Schools and Willard City Schools.

“Since 1983, I have alternately concentrated on drawing, painting and sculpture in both representational and abstract manners.  The skills I learn in one discipline inform the others, which has enabled me to slowly but surely develop a cohesive artistic vision over the past 29 years.  I am glad for the opportunity to gather various types of work and present them in one exhibit at the Art Junction.”

The Art Junction is a community-based art education program designed to bring gallery space, local art exhibitions, lessons and creative opportunities to the Willard area for adults, teens, seniors, and children to learn to create together a better community! For more information on this or future programs at the Art Junction contact Kevin Casto M.A., Director, at 419-935-3404, Email theartjuction@yahoo.com or visit our blog https://theartjunctionwillardohio.wordpress.com

Exploring Digital Photography at the Art Junction


This summer we have again offered a class on exploring digital photography at the Art Junction.

Participants have been gaining lots of hands-on experience by exploring new techniques.

Participants have been learning to look at the world around them in a new manner, through the rectangle of a view finder, exploring light and composition.

Tonight the class will meet for its third session as they continue to explore the local environment through digital photography.  All of these images were created by class participant and emerging photographer Alec Casto.

Art Camp Jr.


We had our first Jr. Art Camp this year.  It was small in numbers but huge in fun!

Campers had the opportunity to create some yard art with shapes, patterns and paint.

The yard art takes on a whole new look from above and through a window screen.

Splatter painting in the manner of Jackson Pollock was explored on day 1.

Printing with hands was lots of fun as well.

Crayon making was also part of the creative experience.

It was fun to discover many new ways to create using everyday objects.

Exploring print making by using your hand with various colors was lots of fun.

Everyone became immersed in the creative experience.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. -Pablo Picasso
Art Camp Jr. was a huge amount of creative fun!  I hope you can join us for a future class or workshop at the Art Junction.

The final day of Art Camp


The last day of Art Camp involved the many-step process of creating tie-dye t-shirts.

After soaking their shirts in soda ash solution campers next decided upon the design they wished to tie their shirts into before adding dye.

There were many designs to choose from in which to tie  shirts in preparation for the dying process.

The step everyone was “dyeing” for was choosing the colors and patterns to apply to their shirt.

Everyone chose their own pattern and set of colors in which to apply the dye as they completed their shirts, and then they had to let them sit in sealed bags for at least 24 hours before rinsing, washing and drying.

Campers also added finishing touches to their bug sculptures with tempera paint.

Everyone enjoyed our first three-day art camp and were amazed at how quickly the time flew by as they were immersed in the creative process.

Art Camp -Day 1


Art Camp began today at the Art Junction.

The campers created a cardboard stencil of something they were interested in turning into a chalk drawing.

Campers then learned how to add water to their chalk and incorporate using a brush to create their chalk image.

The campers learned to make chalk paintings on the sidewalk.  Everyone was amazed at how fast the time passed as they worked on their projects.

The other project we began was some yard art.

Campers used found objects to use as stencil patterns.

Adding shapes and color to the dry landscape was a new idea and lots of fun!

The Campers had fun learning and exploring new ways to be creative in day one of Art Camp at the Art Junction!

Basket weaving workshop


On June 30th the Art Junction held it’s first basket weaving workshop.

Linda Kirgis led the workshop, teaching and demonstrating how to create a small, round reed basket.

What kind of basket should a Beginner start with?
Any simple structure will do.
The students in this workshop created a round made of flat materials. “Round” means a basket that has spokes in a radiating base pattern- like the spokes of a wheel. “Square” means any kind of simple square or rectangular base pattern- woven like a checkerboard. “Melon” means the structure wherein 2 hoops are placed within each other & assembled with God’s eyes patterns.

What are most baskets made of?
Antique American baskets have usually been woven of hardwoods like ash, oak & hickory. However, today most American basketweavers learning to weave use the tropical materials “reed” & “cane”. This is not to say that the hardwoods aren’t used, but they’re expensive and trickier to work with. Most patterns & kits will use reed and cane.

What are “reed” and “cane”?
Reed and cane are the products of the tropical vine “calamus rotang”. They’re harvested in various parts of Asia, then processed in factories into the different sizes of reed and cane. Reed is the inside of the vine, and cane is the outer bark. Cane is also the material used for woven chair seats. Flat reed comes in various widths as measured in fractions of inches: for example, 3/16″, 1/4″, etc. Round reed is measured in numbered sizes. Smallest numbers measure the smallest diameter. #1 is a very narrow weaver (spaghetti-sized), whereas #8 is a good sized spoke (almost pencil sized). Anything larger than #10 is generally furniture-gauged.

Why are basket materials used wet?
Basketry materials are too brittle to be woven in their dry state. When soaked for as little as 15-30 minutes, reed & cane become flexible and easy to manipulate without friction & breakage. 

How long will reed (and baskets) last?
Baskets can last indefinitely if stored in a moderate climate. Not too dry (not in an attic) and not too wet (not in a humid area). Reed, however, has its limitations. The only way to find out if your stored reed is useable for weaving baskets is to soak it for 15 minutes and try it out. If the reed is brittle and continues to break, it’s not worth weaving with.

If my baskets are dusty, what’s the best way to clean them?
Assuming that we’re not talking about priceless antique baskets from early native American periods, the easiest and most efficient way to clean your baskets is with a garden hose. Hose off the dust and let them dry thoroughly. Baskets can also be put in the bathtub so that they freshen up by absorbing moisture directly. Once again, rinse off the dust and let them dry completely to avoid mildew.

The participants did a wonderful job learning a new skill in this creative endeavor of basket weaving.  They also have a great new basket they have made.  If this sounds interesting to you contact the Art Junction to inquire about future classes in beginning and advanced basket weaving at 419-935-3404 or email theartjunction@yahoo.com.

A visit from the Willard City Schools 4th graders


4th graders from the Willard City Schools visited the Art Junction on Friday, May 5, 2012 to view the Willard High School Art Exhibition.

Visiting a local gallery and finding out about others who create art in your town is a new experience for the fourth grade students.

Students learned firsthand there’s a place in their community where they can come together and create art with others.

Experiencing the art of other local students is a new way to connect with one’s community.

Viewing and experiencing art together invigorates the spirit and promotes creative thinking skills.

Viewing the art of other youth inspires these fourth graders to seek more creative opportunities.

Students enjoyed their visit to the gallery and now look forward to their exhibition of monochromatic paintings at the Art Junction on May 12 – June 1, 2012.

Drawing the out-of-doors


The home-school art class had a drawing session outdoors to explore viewing the environment around the Art Junction and capturing it in a drawing.

This was a new experience for the students and a great way to learn how to really look at the world around us that we tend to take for granted.

Drawing outside is known as “Plein Air” drawing. Literally translated, this French term means “in the open air”.

Drawing and painting outside is a common thing for artists to do today, but as writer Marion Boddy Evans explains, “…in the late 1800s when the Impressionists ventured out of their studios into nature to investigate and capture the effects of sunlight and different times of days on a subject, it was quite revolutionary.”

French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated en plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors, in the diffuse light provided by a large white umbrella. The popularity of outdoor painting has endured throughout the 20th century and continues today at the Art Junction!

Everyone had fun in this great creative exercise on a warm spring afternoon in north-central Ohio.

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.