Thursday, 31 May 2012

It’s the Jubilympics!

Not one to miss out on a party I’ve had a right royal month creating for up and coming events of summer.  So imagine my delight when two summer events fall into my lap this month.
First up, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, an excuse to paint the town in patriotic colours, wave a flag and eat cake. And it’s an opportunity to get arty too!

 On Saturday 4th May I had a sell out success as children and their families flocked to Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre to create their own celebratory crockery.  It seems everyone wanted to mark the event as the public gathered around craft tables designing and colouring their Jubilee Plates, no doubt ready for their street part this weekend.  I’m quite sure Mage would be pleased as punch to see her regal portrait replicated by so many eager Rochdale kids.  In fact, the arty session proved so popular it had to close before time as I ran out of resources!

I was delighted when I received the commission to create a gigantic table cloth celebrating Gallery Oldham’s 10th Birthday and of course the royal event of the year, the Jubilee.  Out came the markers once more as I doodled past street parties from Oldham’s smoggy archive.  I thoroughly enjoyed searching through sepia photographs, stumbling on drizzly day photographs of children waving flags, the Queen’s visit to the cotton mills and a fully adorned Farantis Factory, covered from top to bottom in banners and bunting declaring ;’ God Save The Queen’.

And now Oldham have a nine meter cloth fit for an artist banquet.  The illustrations feature street scenes, a marching band, the queen’s corgi’s and not forgetting the magic ingredient marmite, no picnic would be complete without it!

And so on to the Olympics.  I’ve just today finished my thoroughly enjoyable week as artist for Holy Trinity Primary School’s Olympics Week.  The kids have been more active than a pentathlete squad this week, racing, swimming, long jumping, to name but a few!  Luckily they managed to squeeze in enough time to make some masterpieces to mark their week too.

Working with each class I created artistic activities to match the Olympic country they were representing.  From raging Chinese dragons to massive Matisse murals, from the delicatly decorated plates of Greece to the chaotic paint splashes of Pollack, each class took part in making sensational art.  Their finished work will be showcased in the school this week, what an artistic adventure!

Finally, don’t miss out on the Jubilympics fun, on Saturday 2nd June  you can join me at Touchstones for an arty Jubilee party 10.30am- 3.30pm, and on Thursday why not come and create an Olympics coaster at Rebecca’s Coffee Shop, Littleborough, 10am – 12 noon.  See you there!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Make it in March! (or add it to April...)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers to tell people about amazing events after they’ve happened? Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the scribbled, criss cross calendar in the kitchen would you really remember birthdays of far flung relatives? 

I struggle remembering what day of the week it is, let alone who’s candles will be blown out next, so it might not come as much of a surprise that I’m one of ‘those’ people who enthusiastically tell others about an art session after it’s taken place, oops!

So to help clear my conscience and keep you in the loop here’s a list of some smashing spring sessions that you can take part in this month and next:

  • Wednesday 28th March: Make a coaster mosaic, Rochdale Emporium
  • Thursday 5th April: Family Creations, Rebecca’s Coffee Shop, Littleborough,  10am-12noon
  • Friday 13th April: Make a coaster mosaic, Rochdale Emporium

And look out in May for an exciting garden mosaic making day in Littleborough, felt jewellery and printing in Rochdale, and as for June and July... crickey, we’ve hardly even scratched the surface...

I’ll still be running my schools sessions, crash, bag and walloping across the classrooms of Rochdale.  I’m still causing chaos in a costume at Touchstones museum and I’m currently creating several illustration commissions for business across the North West.  Without your enthusiastic involvement in my arts sessions I’d be left painting the garden fence.  So get that calendar off the wall and make sure you make a date for an Art.Works workshop.   
Go on, squeeze it in, right there next to great Auntie Mildred’s 76th birthday!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Feel good in February!

There's lots of reasons to feel good in February, the days begin to stretch a little longer. Spring bulbs suddenly add a burst of colour where once it was just one long stretch of murky muddy brown and, as if that's not enough, Oldham run their ' well good arts' event! 

It's a glorious celebration of all things arty, from interactive performance to Zumba Gold (strictly for over 60s). African drumming to arty bike riding, it's a festival devoted to the feel good factor of arts.  Needless to say its something I was delighted to be involved in.

My task was to devise an interactive doodle, introducing the activities on offer and inviting arty participation, so how do I do is?

Step one: research the activities on offer, contact printers to make sure i now the scale of my pictures
Step two: get designing, doodling and creating
Step three: draw up designs in pencil and marker
Step four: send the designs to the printers, who print them off 100 times, what a reel!
Step five: my designs are scattered and plastered across the venue for Oldham's 'Well Good Arts' festival. Kids are doodling into the design, mums are carefully colouring in the lines and coasters are placed upon them as they cover the tables in the cafe.  

In fact; They're in the entrance, they're  up the stairs, they're in the cafe. Take a look in the library when choose your book!

So feel inspired, feel good, get some well good arts into your life as you spring into February!

Oh and thankyou to @Traffordmedia for doing a great print job for me.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Beat the January blues, adult craft courses

Hello all and a happy new year.

Art.Works' theme this January is 'New Year, New stART' (see what I did there?!), beat the winter blues by dipping into new adlut art sessions I will be running at Ebor Studios, Littlebough (see the link at the bottom of the email for directions.

the sessions are an informal hands on introduction to three art forms: silk painting, mosic making and felt making.  They promise to be a relaxed and fun way to spend those dreary winter mornings.  You do not need to book onto each session, just the ones you fancy, however, you will need to book proir to the date.  

each session is £10, including all materials and copius amounts of tea!

all the information can be found on the attached poster.

I look forward to meeting you there

Ebor studios address: Ebor Studio, William Street, Littleborough. OL15 8JP

View Larger Map

Monday, 31 October 2011

My month in Pictures...

October has seen a flood or illustration commissions for me so, for a change from my usual blog I thought I’d share some with you.

At the start of the month I was approached by Rochdale shopping centre to create some crafty creatures to celebrate Bonfire Night.  Here’s a fearful Fawkes and a adorable little lady munching on her toffee apple to wet your appetite before I run the kids activity this weekend.

Mid October saw spiders crawling up and down the woodwork during Touchstones ‘Tree-tastic Family Fun Day’.  Little fingers made scary spiders as we transformed old milk bottle tops into shiny shimmering spiders ready to decorate houses for Halloween.

By the end of October it was back to the drawing board as I completed a commission to celebrate the annual Big Draw for Oldham Art Gallery.  I designed and created an eight meter townscape of Oldham past and present ready for kids to colour and doodle. 

The community’s contributions during October’s closing weekend brought a vibrant flourish to the final days of the month.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

New School Year, New stART!

September; the leaves on the trees turn from emerald green to copper coated auburn,  the sun is enveloped in cooler rays , there’s a nip in the air as it sinks from the sky earlier  and earlier.  But it’s not all changing landscapes and bitter winds, don’t nestle down into your duvet quite yet because September also heralds the launch of the new Workshops Programme at Art.Works!

Hot off the success of Summer Term I’m now booked out and geared up to offer an exciting range of art sessions across schools and community centres alike.  The new publicity went down a storm as schools eagerly booked their art fix for the new term ahead.  From felt making in Smallbridge, to silk painting in Middleton, family fun days in Rochdale to creative co-op classes  for school clusters, this promises to be the most action packed term to date!

But do not fear, swallow the panic, you’re not too late!  I am now taking schools bookings for the New Year, and adults won’t miss out either.  January sees the launch of Art.Works very fist Adult Craft sessions.  So grab your diary, dust off those dungarees (or whatever artistic costume takes your fancy), it’s a new term, new stART!

Download Felt Making Leaflet here.

Download Adult Workshop Leaflet here

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Summer Fun Come Rain or Shine

So the school holidays don’t necessarily mean day to day sunshine, indeed in these northern valleys just a glimmer of the sun’s rays causes a flurry of excitement.  But the damp dreary days of a Rochdlian summer couldn’t put a downer on the Art.Works summer if it tried.  And just as well as there was far too much animated play to be had.

From jumping in and out of character to entertain families at Touchstones to painting the people of the borough to celebrate a fest of festivals it’s been an action packed month from start to finish.
To set off the summer I ran art sessions in Rochdale’s Broadfield Park using nature to inspire some amazing artistic displays which we exhibited outside for passersby to enjoy.  Families had great fun as we discovered the magical beasties that inhabit Broadfield Park’s willowy trees and deep dark hedges.  Weaving magnificent materials together with our beautiful branches and wild flowers we created the most enchanting of creatures to ever crawl the planet. 

Throughout the summer I hopped back and forth in time on a time travellers’ yoyo as I took families on a journey into mysterious myths of Ancient Egypt.  From gruesome green gods to fantastical adorned pharaohs families were ready and raring to go, delving into Egypt’s beguiling past.

Jump forward a couple of hundred years and  I invited the families of Rochdale to hop on board the Touchstones Express and chug along train tracks back in time to the Victorian era.  We fantasised about riding donkeys along beaches, we booed and hissed at the Punch and Judy Show and we dipped our toes into the fresh waters of that well known holiday hotspot Hollingworth Lake.   Come again?  Why, the Victorian bank holiday Mecca of Hollingworth Lake of course!  Back in the day it was a hive of activity, the leisure line bringing visitors in their hundreds to soak up the atmosphere of Littleborough’s well loved lake.  And all this without leaving the comfort of an education studio...

And back to the present day Hollingworth Lake played hosted to yet another Art.Works activity on a rare sunny Sunday.  Rolling back my sleeves and squeezing my sponge I painted more tigers, lions and spider men this side of the Hollywood skyline, helping raise funds for Friends of Littleborough Station (FOLS).  Children were transformed from little angels to menacing monsters as their faces were painted and their new persona unleashed, with a little helping hand from yours truly.  Luckily those who missed their chance I ran several sessions for different organisations across the borough throughout the summer, so, if you did happen to see a tiger prowling down the high street there’s a good chance I’d seen him too!

So who needs the sun to shine when there’s so much colour and animation in an Art.Works summer of fun.  If we’d had the heat too this blog would be so sunny, you’d have to read it wearing your shades!