Thursday, 23 April 2015

Creative Sketchbooks

I had made sure that my students on the Creative Sketchbooks workshops this week would have plenty of books to look through for inspiration. 

We have the luxury of 2 days with this workshop. Below is a snapshot of some of the work created on the first day. We began with some simple exercises using photographic images, photocopies, tracing, cutting and painting. 

I'm very much looking forward to next week's classes. Students will be starting to introduce more of their own inspirational themes to the books, and we'll also be developing ideas with monoprint, block print, rubbings and pattern. 

Bye for now,

Friday, 17 April 2015

Finish Me! Art Journal - inspiration

I wanted to share with you some pages from Finish Me! Art Journals. These ones aren't mine - a big thank you to Beth and Tina for letting me show what they've been working on. I think the results are great, hope you do too.

Isn't it inspiring to see what other people have done? Love to see how the pages I started have been layered with more pattern, colour and marks. If you've been working in your book, perhaps you'll send me photos, I'd love to see them.

Bye for now,

My most treasured possession

I said yesterday that I'd be back with inspiration for Finish Me! journals today, but I'm afraid that will have to wait a moment because I have to share something with you. I know it's because I've always had a love of drawing that one of the milestones I've been waiting for is for Amelie to start to draw things that actually look like something, rather than energetic scribble. On Wednesday, after all my students had gone home, she and I were pottering in the Wooden House and she asked for pens and paper...

OK, maybe you have to use a little vision, but that's Daddy.



and Mommy! 

I'm rather wishing I'd given her something better to draw on than old cereal packets. Needless to say, I'm going to keep these forever.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

A week of Altered Books

I have taught two Altered Books workshops here at the Wooden House this week. I find altering books one of those compulsive activities; I'll just do one more page, just one more. With everything still set up out in the studio, it's taking all my self control to be sat in front of my computer tackling the list of jobs to do. But first, I want to share with you some of the work done by the students:

I have one place left on my early summer classes. Last minute I know, but if you would like to give your sketchbook work a kick start I have a spot available on:

Creative Sketchbooks Sunday 19th and 26th April. All details can be found by clicking the Workshops tab at the top of the page.

Thanks for dropping by, I'll be back tomorrow with some Finish Me Art journal inspiration. See you then,

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Eye candy

A little eye candy from the garden.
Love Laura

Monday, 6 April 2015

Happy Days

I think it's true that all anyone needs to be happy, well me at least, is to be with family, have lovely food and the warmth of the sun on your back. Today was one of those perfect days.

The Wooden House studio was designed as a working space, but it was always our intention that it would moonlight as a party place. The tables were rearranged, Amelie had made the egg decorations and my assortment of vintage glass ink and milk bottles were filled with hyacinths, giant snowdrops, hellebores and daffs from the garden.

The reason? Today was the Egg Hunt! When I was little I remember going to visit my Grandma and Grandad and we'd search for foil wrapped eggs in the field. It's such a fun tradition I'm intent on keeping it up. We hid a couple of dozen eggs and chocolate rabbits in the garden for everyone to search out. They were here, there and everywhere...

I think it's highly unlikely we've actually found them all. I'm rather hoping that next week when I'm weeding I'll stumble on a creme egg; wouldn't that be a nice treat after a couple of hours grafting in the garden!

Of course a certain someone thought the whole thing was quite magical. I hope she doesn't expect there to be chocolate rabbits in trees every week.

After the party guests had gone home I couldn't resist soaking up the last of the day's spring sunshine camera in hand.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend too.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Entertaining the Creative Kid - Eggs

How to keep a two-year-old happy for an hour? Scissors and glue!

'Snippin' is the number one activity around here at the moment. 

I've cut her some egg shapes from card and she's spent all morning decorating them with collage 'snips' and paint.

I thought we needed shares in paint, turns out it's PVA!

If you're celebrating Easter, or just eating too much egg-shaped chocolate, hope you have a lovely weekend.


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Finish Me! Art Journal - Rubbings

OK, so while I'm on the subject of rubbings I thought they'd be an ideal technique to suggest to you for using in the Finish Me! Art Journals. Many of the pages in the book will be suitable to make a rubbing on, just avoid the really heavy papers. Newsprint, lightweight cartridge, some of the vintage papers and tracing should all work really nicely.

Of course you can make a rubbing from any textured surface, but I think rather than finding something random, it's better to have some creative input. One of the simplest ways to make a rubbing plate is using card. I like to recycle packaging card for this and cereal box card is perfect.

Cut one piece to make a base and then cut other shapes from the card to form your pattern. I've just gone for squares. Glue them down or use double sided tape if you're in a hurry.

Place the rubbing plate in position underneath the page you want the design to appear on. Hold the plate and paper still and drag the side of a graphite stick, oil pastel (student quality actually works best for this), wax crayon, Inktense block, over the surface. I favour a solid graphite stick for most of my rubbings, but I'd suggest you experiment to see what works for you.

After the rubbing is made, you can also add a wash too if you like. (Washing over an Inktense Block rubbing will move the colour, whereas an oil pastel rubbing will resist it).

I've used a rubbing to make a frame to the page which is a great way to get started on a making a journal page.

Have fun!