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Autumn Adventures in Art :: Our memory tree

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‘What’s a memory?’ asked Wilfred Gordon…

‘Its something you remember’ said his Father. But Wilfred Gordon wanted to know more,……

Our final project in our Autumn Adventures in Art series was designed to ‘put the student in the picture’ by connecting him/her to their work in a personal way. By looking at ways to ‘represent’ themselves using memories and nature references, they produced unique work and re-enforced the value in their own form of expression, their own memories, their own style.

I have just loved meandering through the past six weeks with artistic-intension together with a wonderful bunch of enthusiastic students. They were polite, inspired, wildly creative and an absolute joy to teach!

Looking forward to more adventures next term – thanks Riverbend Books and Cafe!

the magic of watercolour trees

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‘Oh if only I could live my life so wild and free, right up there atop the tree. Who’s branches strong, roots deep and wide, whisper courage on every side.

I’d dream far yonder as I could see, and when strong winds would threaten me. I’d snuggle down deep wrapped in her boughs, and wait for season’s whisper loud.

To bloom and blaze all held, yet free, the crowning glory of my tree.’

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I love that the Autumn Adventures in Art students grasped the soft, dreamy flow of ‘wet on wet’ watercolour method so well during this session. We only touched on watercolour briefly this week, in order to complete a background to our collage works but there was such enthusiasm regarding this medium! Children worked through exercises in wash, simple detail and fine detail on standard paper and were then confident to complete their final work on A3 quality watercolour paper. Watercolour lends itself so well to landscapes and the simple beginner project of earth, sky and sketchy tree’s produced pleasing results for young students!

Problem-solving through printmaking

‘I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it’ Pablo Picasso

 

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Some more of my favourite images from our 3-week exploration of printmaking during Autumn Adventures in Art at Riverbend Books.

On our third week, students refined their block printing to explore pattern repeat and ultimately produce a tote bag design (our youngest student’s tote seen above!).

We loved seeing the resolution that came about through experiments on paper – the quality of print, the effectiveness of repeat, the importance of planning the design well before executing. It is natural for children to jump in and create and think later – I love that there is no fear or hesitation in this method of ‘bringing something forth’.  However, in order to refine a skill and therefore practice better outcomes, it is useful for students to journey through the process in order to test out several possible options before deciding on the most effective design.

For some of the youngest students, we found that the final design was just another ‘experiment’ and that is perfectly age appropriate. For others though, the confidence built through ‘trial and error and play’ helped them to be more satisfied with the end result!

The student’s folio’s are full to overflowing with wonderful experiments [ seen drying here ]. These pages represent my favourite part of the creative process – The time to play with new techniques! Seeing what colour’s work with others, what textures and shapes produce the most pleasing designs….

We are firm believers at WEAVE+WONDER that the journey through experimentation is far more valuable than the outcome. Innovative leaders practice and work at their craft, and we have loved sharing time with your children as they build these muscles for their future through art!

 

 

 

 

The persuasive power of Picasso

‘All children are artists, the problem is to remain an artist once he grows up’ Pablo Picasso

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I’ve loved every minute of our Autumn Adventures in Art!

Printmaking is one of my favourite techniques to explore with children because there are so many imperfections in it! Whether etching, mono printing or block printing, the resulting image has a ‘hazy, soft, textural’ quality to it that allow’s much grace as children are learning. I had an inward chuckle when one or two of my students decided that the partial transfer of colour wasn’t ‘perfect’ enough and began painting over their print – filling in the ‘texture’ with ‘solid colour’! I love a child’s freedom and instinct to express their creativity in unique ways.

There was much room throughout our 3-week exploration to learn, practice, correct, print again and layer colour and detail over to build up each artwork.

 

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[Picasso’s graphic and lithograph works]

Students were particularly pleased to see examples of Picasso’s early print work and lithograph’s, made famous in some of the earliest forms of advertising, and realise that his images and technique were simple and imperfect too!

 

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Our practice is to draw, inspired by the reading of some wonderful literature and then transfer those sketch ideas from imagination into artwork! These autumn-inspired works were wonderful examples of creative problem-solving – particularly when it came to etching lettering to print the right way!

 

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More examples of print work and the remainder of our series to follow!

 

art classes :: week 1 Autumn Adventures in Art

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Today a few lovely pics from our first ‘Autumn Adventures in Art’ series hosted by Riverbend books!

Our exciting Brisbane-based art classes are focused on great books and nurturing creative thinking.

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Saturday afternoons are looking to be creatively magical with a wonderful + enthusiastic group of young artists.

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This week our theme was NOTICING and as we began our introduction to printmaking inspired by a bunch of equally ‘wild’ and imaginative books, students played with printing texture and layers, background and foreground, ghost prints and more!

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Students took home a gorgeous ‘mothers day’ print of their favourite autumn leaf adjacent our custom quote and we gathered all their experimental printmaking into their folio’s for collation over the 6 week series!

Next week’s theme is IMAGINATION: the ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton and ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jeffers will project us into our experiments with mono printing and etching. Can’t wait!

Christmas classes at Teenie and Tiny

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There is nothing more exciting around Christmas time than getting lost in a whimsical gift store dreaming of handcrafted, natural toys + books and who might receive the loveliness!

While you browse and dream, shop and plan, we would love to create with your children!

We have two afternoon classes scheduled for Teenie and Tiny this year these are as follows:

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‘Alexander Calder inspired wire hanging stars’ workshop

Thursday 11 December, 2.30-3.30pm.

Cost: $20 per student

These simple yet gorgeously tactile wire stars make a wonderful hanging garland for Christmas. Children will learn how to manipulate wire to create their stars.

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. Inspired by his most famous works and using wire + wool, Children will create their own hanging stars.

PLEASE NOTE: This class is for 5-12 year olds, however younger children are more than welcome to attend this class under the supervision of an adult.

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Fabric and feather Christmas angels

Tuesday 16th December, 2.30-3.30pm.

Cost: $20 per student

Using the lovely texture of feathers, white + vintage fabrics, children will create ‘light + floaty’ hanging angels to decorate their home this Christmas! We will visit the stunning nativity story illustrated by Julie Vivas.

PLEASE NOTE:  This class is designed for 5-12 year olds.  Younger children are welcome to attend this class under the supervision of an adult.

 

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Glorious birds!

‘How many legs do birds have?’  Answer: 4

‘And how many birds have you seen with 4 legs?’ Answer (given straight back with great confidence!): 51

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We could not have timed our preschool creativity series more perfectly!

Birds above and below and around are calling noisily to each other – a frenzy of nest building and preparation for spring breeding season. Newborn birds wail plaintively as parents scavenge for food. Abandoned nests fall from backyard tree’s. We even had an ambitious crow attempt to cart off a metre long branch for some purpose or other until it came crashing down on our roof!

And noticing all this flurry, we gather amid the natural gifts + toys at Teenie and Tiny in anticipation of our bird adventure together!

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The storybook inspiration for this bird series is the wonderful ‘Feathers for Phoebe’ by Rod Clements. In week 1 we shared the story together. We were inspired by the famous french sculptor, “Franco Pompon’ to create simple animal shapes and ensure that our birds had a plethora of rainbow-feathers that would make ‘phoebe’ stand out in a crowd! Our tactile clay class had everyone squeezing + pinching until bird-forms emerged.

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In week 2, we looked at patterns. What are they? How to notice a repeated mark that might form a pattern. We worked on a series of exercise sheets with 2 colours to grasp the concept of pattern repeat, which in turn, informed some of their painting works. Phoebe the bird would be proud to live in these bold + colourful houses!

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In our final Week 3, the children were introduced to the slow art of hand stitching using a simple but effective bird nest project. Our bird silhouette looks pleased and proud standing atop some of those spectacularly woven nests!

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What a wonder – teaching these adorable children! We especially savoured the pictures each child drew of birds they saw during the week in their bird journal. Keeping a creative journal and taking it with you on your adventures is a great way of developing your child’s noticing eye for beauty and detail!

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preschool creativity starts next week!

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Oh to share in the wonder and delight of creativity in childhood!

Where stories captivate and materials stimulate and imaginations soar!

Some of our favourite creative moments have been shared with young children, inspired to dream big and uninhibited by lack of skill or fear that ‘they can’t do it’. We are excited to ‘take a flight of fancy’ once again with pre-school children and their parents/carers and explore the wonderful world of birds!

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The gorgeous gift store, Teenie and Tiny in Camp Hill, on Brisbane’s inner south will host our three week creative series – surrounded by natural and unique gifts and books for sale!

There are places remaining in both the Tuesday and Friday class commencing NEXT WEEK! We would love for you to join and share this creative experience with your child. This wonderful opportunity to read + create together with all inspiration and materials provided is a great memory-making opportunity in these all-too-fleeting early years of childhood.

Don’t miss out – our classes are kept deliberately small. See our class outline below. Book and pay online here.

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Class Outline

THEME:  All about Birds! Based on the book ‘Phoebe’s Feathers’ By Rod Clements. This series will encourage children to observe the birds in their neighbourhood, draw from their observations using our handmade journals and explore a number of creative media tailored to this theme.

WEEK 1: Focus on Clay – children will explore the clay medium after reading our story. They will have opportunity to create gorgeous clay birds with rainbow feathers together with nests and eggs for mama-bird to care for! A wonderfully tactile and imaginative introduction to clay!

WEEK 2: Focus on Paint/collage – Phoebe is a bird who loves to ‘stand out’ and make an impression! This week we will use a beautifully handcrafted wooden bird house cutout and paint/collage to create an architectural masterpiece worthy of the flamboyant Phoebe!

WEEK 3: Focus on beginning stitching – In our final class we will learn beginning stitching techniques. Children will create a beautifully colourful nest for our silhouette bird on hessian using colourful wool and blunt needle! They will then cut out felt eggs to tuck into her nest! This piece creates a beautiful wall hanging!

 

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‘I wanted to take the time to thank you for such an enjoyable series. My daughter has loved the stories chosen and getting her hands in amongst all the beautiful materials you have supplied. You may have noticed I couldn’t resist getting my hands in amongst it too! Taking the time to stop and enjoy the process has been almost therapeutic! I’ve really enjoyed watching my daughter with her friends in this type of setting and look forward to the next block.’

 

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Preschool creativity at Teenie and Tiny – NEXT WEEK!

‘My daughter looked forward to Tuesday classes each week and the books and bird theme opened up her eyes to the world around her. She started noticing birds all around her and was excited to draw them in her journal. She got to try lots of different art techniques….although drawing and painting were her favourite! ‘

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WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF OUR POPULAR PRESCHOOL CREATIVITY CLASSES!

This series is hosted by the wonderful inspiration + gift shop, Teenie and Tiny. [ 130 Leicester St, Camp Hill ]

Teenie and Tiny have a beautifully curated range of books and gifts for children of all ages and we are thrilled to partner with them again to nurture creativity in children.

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BOOK HERE NOW – WE START NEXT WEEK! CHOOSE FROM TUESDAY OR FRIDAY MORNING CLASSES

Class Outline

THEME:  All about Birds! Based on the book ‘Phoebe’s Feathers’ By Rod Clements. This series will encourage children to observe the birds in their neighbourhood, draw from their observations using our handmade journals and explore a number of creative media tailored to this theme.

WEEK 1: Focus on Clay – children will explore the clay medium after reading our story. They will have opportunity to create gorgeous clay birds with rainbow feathers together with nests and eggs for mama-bird to care for! A wonderfully tactile and imaginative introduction to clay!

WEEK 2: Focus on Paint/collage – Phoebe is a bird who loves to ‘stand out’ and make an impression! This week we will use a beautifully handcrafted wooden bird house cutout and paint/collage to create an architectural masterpiece worthy of the flamboyant Phoebe!

WEEK 3: Focus on beginning stitching – In our final class we will learn beginning stitching techniques. Children will create a beautifully colourful nest for our silhouette bird on hessian using colourful wool and blunt needle! They will then cut out felt eggs to tuck into her nest! This piece creates a beautiful wall hanging!

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‘I wanted to take the time to thank you for such an enjoyable series. My daughter has loved the stories chosen and getting her hands in amongst all the beautiful materials you have supplied. You may have noticed I couldn’t resist getting my hands in amongst it too! Taking the time to stop and enjoy the process has been almost therapeutic! I’ve really enjoyed watching my daughter with her friends in this type of setting and look forward to the next block.’

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‘We don’t grow into creativity we grow out of it’ Ken Robinson

 

 

I have surprised myself with how much I enjoy teaching this preschool age parent + child class each week!

There is an energy and freedom that is mesmerizing + inspiring and I always leave uplifted. Our story time to commence the class is full of loud opinions + excited observations – the world of literature and imagination is alive to a child! This time not only inspires our creating but connects the children as we begin a journey together.

As the children stomp down the wooden stairs to the undercroft space, conversations are buzzing and the anticipation to create is high!

As we jump into exploring our medium for the week I can’t contain my enjoyment as I scan my eyes across the table and observe the diversity in their approach to the task at hand. One child is forming her clay with swift yet intentional movements, another sits back and ponder’s what to make while rolling a long ‘snake’ of clay between his fingers. Some linger on their drawing, meticulously exploring the possibilities, thinking with their pastel, while yet another just wants to get into the tactile stuff! Clay + paint manipulated for the pure enjoyment of the material + with no expectation of an end product!

I move slowly around the room, stopping to admire, to question, to encourage and occasionally to direct…but what I find so inspiring about this age is the confidence each one has to imagine + complete their own work. They don’t look to the left or right and compare. They don’t protest that it is ‘wrong’ or ‘not good enough’. They simply jump in with absolute freedom and no fear.

And the unique and beautiful results speak of this confidence (and sometime collaboration with a parent). These are the seeds of creativity that are absolutely priceless and need to be continually reinforced throughout a child’s life – that their work is unique and therefore beautiful. That creativity is about responding to stimuli with your own unique imagination, testing the waters + emerging with something new. This is the beginning of innovation in any area of life and deserves to be celebrated, formed into a habit with boundaries that forbid right + wrong, nurtured.

I look forward to each week as I partake of the blossoming journey of creative freedom that each child is on!