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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mixed media art workshop!

Students at work
Some of what we made
Striking a pose with two of my pieces I created

I had a small but enthusiastic group for my art workshop over the weekend. One of the students was a professional artist, and one had never done any art before! Over all we had a great time and created some really good work. Here are some photos of the exciting stuff we made.

So what exactly did we do??? This workshop is one of those things that is hard to describe but once you do it, it's really fun and people love it.
What we did was create our own patterned or printed paper using a photographic technique called cyanotype, blueprint, solargrams, or sun prints. Most of what we create were solargrams, which is using objects to create the prints rather than a photographic negative. Once we had some finished solargrams, we used it to make collages on stretched canvas or on paper.

So this is really two classes in one: making solargrams and making collages with them. It's really just another technique for creating art, making marks and thinking a different way. This workshop is different enough from most familiar art forms that most people know of (Painting, drawing, watercolors, ceramics, etc.) that people are often surprised at how it becomes a trigger for a new burst of creativity. Students are forced to work with serendipity and chance since the photographic process is sometimes unpredictable. Once they realize they have to "let go" of the outcome when making solargrams, they realize they must start paying attention to composition and layering techniques in order to get a good piece of art. Students that are customarily used to realism might find this intimidating....however, I have noticed that by doing something abstract such as a collage, they stop worrying about the outcome and start just having fun. Joy in art creation usually gives the best results!

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