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Archive for May, 2008

Bi-Monthly Tips from Teachers

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Tip # 7 –  Creating Depth with Acrylics Lorna Nakell
Acrylic Painting 101 – Still Life
Exploring Acrylics – 15 Postcards Sized Paintings

Have you ever been dissatisfied by a painting you’ve been working on because it seems to be lacking depth; everything appears to be on the same plane and has the same intensity?  Here are some techniques that will help you produce the appearance of depth while also creating a more dynamic painting:

1)      Work with glazing.  You can achieve a rich quality in your painting by starting with a background that has a neutral color wash (this can be warm like burnt sienna or cool like raw umber).  Then shapes and forms can emerge from there already having a nice mid-tone established.  This works better than trying to start your painting on an all white background.
2)      Work the classical way.  Build your painting up from dark to light saving the highlights for last.  In addition to creating depth this will help you add dimension to your forms.

Read more on Lorna’s blog.

Art Beat Rocks!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

I had such a great time teaching people how to make DIY Sweater People at Art Beat. Instead of telling you about this event I want to show you how awesome it was. Here are students on various campuses:

Let the crafting begin!



Some of these people barely spoke English, but the universal language of creativity allowed us to communicate just fine.


Is it just me, or do these folks look a little like proud parents? Once people had completed these little cuties, I start to feel that my role had changed from art teacher to matchmaker or an adoption



Look at the little dejected guy below. I really love him. He looks like some early man version of these sweater people.




I had all of these sweater people pre-cut into specific animal. The critter below was originally a cat, but his creator turned him into a pig. Cute huh?


The guy below made one of the most unique little people. It started out an owl and at some point he cut something out that looked like a mustache and was like, “I am going with this!” Then he added a cowboy hat too.


Both of these guys were the first ones to show up and were totally stoked on the project. Neither were were proficient sewers, but I told them that was not an obstacle. I think the guy below’s doll is about the sweetest thing I have ever seen. You know how sometimes dolls are portrayed as evil, like in movies or stories? I think this one could get away with murder. Who would suspect such an angelic little guy?


The girl below made a robot with all the little controls and gadgets on his tummy and notice that in her hand she has also fashioned a scarf for her robot in case it is a cool day (See what I mean? What a great mama!)


And last but not least . . .


I am so glad I was asked to participate in this event again this year. What a great time!

If you are interested in making your own DIY Sweater People we now offer this class at the lounge.  Click here to see this class 

Tips from Teachers – New Bi-Monthly Format

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Tip #6 Slow Down, Enjoy Your Creative Treasures! Teresa Sullivan
Bead Netted Collage

Solve et Coagula! Divide et Impera! Here are some ways to sort through your stash of objects and let a story emerge.

First, make a righteous cup of tea or coffee and minimize your distractions. Put some music on. Gather up all the things that might be useful for the project, whether they “match” or not.

Then spread them out in a space that allows you to survey it all at a glance. Sort the things out by color first (for metal components I group by silver, gold/brass, and copper tones—but don’t do this just because I do, do it if it makes visual sense). Sorting by color doesn’t need to mean groups of one color only. I often sort things by color groups, colors I think look good together. Sometimes you find things going already in a direction this way.

Take a moment or two to just enjoy the look of your cool treasures. Take note of things that catch your attention. If something really inspires you, gather other things around it that might work well with it.

Then sort each color group by size. You might want to sort things into groups of small, medium-small, medium, moderately big, and really big (grade on a curve—some people work with pieces that are tiny up to medium-small, some do those giant fire-breathing Mark Pauline-inspired robots like at Maker Faire). On the other hand, you might want to sort into groups that have several sizes within each group.

By now, depending on the strength of your coffee and/or imagination, you may have begun free-associating themes based on the content of the pieces in the groups you’ve sorted. If not, don’t worry about it—others will! Pick a group that stands out the best. Refine it further if you want, taking out pieces that don’t strengthen the theme or flesh out the color scheme.

It may sound indulgent just to play with objects, but it’s really constructive. When you slow down and concentrate on taking in visual images, without the idea that you have to produce a finished product right away, it allows ideas to enter in.