art classes, Painting Techniques, Paintings, Uncategorized

CREATING ART IN LOCKDOWN

Having managed to run face-to-face, socially-distanced, masked, sanitised, tracked-and-traced classes in the autumn (without any infections arising), it came as a blow to realise that this just wasn’t going to happen in the recent winter course. With rising infections and government lockdowns, there was nothing else for it but to head for the laptop and adapt lessons for online teaching.

Although I have been running private art groups for around 30 years, both here in Northern Ireland and previously in Germany, this has been my greatest challenge. Just when I thought I had earned my wings and could conduct an art course fairly competently, a global pandemic happened! So I delved into my archives (thankfully I had kept notes of lessons throughout the years – slightly disorganised but legible!), collated them and set to work. After many frustrating hours of grappling with PowerPoint, PDF files, demonstration videos, Zoom class meetings and individual video calls, we made it through the course. When I say “we” I mean, of course, myself and my students who were magnificent – logging in each week, trying the zoom password a thousand times until they succeeded, leading me through their house on video calls to view their work and never giving up the faith – I love you all!

The theme of this course was “Reflections” which could either be taken literally or metaphorically (or not used at all!) and the main technique was mixed media, from simple combinations of materials to collage, mono prints, transfer prints, assemblage…

I have put together a selection of just some of the work produced over the past 12 weeks.

Oonagh Catchpole “Donegal Schoolhouse” mixed media; “Donegal Farm” mixed media; “Reflections on the Lagan” mixed media

Janet Clarke “Reed Beds” acrylic; “Autumn Grasses” grasses and oil paint; “North Antrim Coast” oil and grasses; Ink on photographs printed on matt photographic paper

Helen McKelvey “Autumn Seedheads” mixed media on rough watercolour paper; “Killian, Near Malin, Co Donegal” oil on canvas; “Honesty” mixed media on rough watercolour paper (Photo credit The Garden magazine RHS)

Shirley McDonald “David Bailey” transfer print, acrylic and ink; Trace mono prints; “Glasses” acrylic on board

Patricia Burgess Mixed media on canvas; “Remembering Ardglass” mixed media; “The Room” Inks on canvas (work in progress)

Libby Pallin “Botanical Gardens, Melbourne” oil on canvas; “Reflections on Mount Stewart Lake” oil on board

Marie Murray “In Deep I” oil on canvas; “In Deep II” oil on canvas; “Picnic with Pierre” mixed media on paper

Heather Hughes “Early Evening, Victoria Park” acrylic and pastel; “Sunflowers” pencil drawing and acrylic; “Victoria Falls” acrylic, charcoal and pastel

Eilish Smith “Siteseeing in Las Palmas” monochrome collaged painted paper; “Kitchen Sink Chaos” mixed media; “Snakes and Ladders” mixed media using masks

Anne Polland “Mary Anne McCracken, anti-slavery activist” mixed media; “Stile at Ballystokes, near Saul” oil grisaille on textured board; “Emilia, Lockdown Schoolgirl” oil on canvas

Joan Magee “Geranium in a Pot” (inspired by Henri Matisse); “Potted Gerbera for Mum” oil and acrylic; “Splash of Colourful Tulips” oil and acrylic

Margaret Finlay “Roberta” collage; “My Garden” oil on board; Acrylic transfer print

Roberta Lindsay “Skid Row” acrylic transfer, pen on canvas pad; “Twin Brothers” acrylic on canvas board; “The Yard” acrylic on canvas board

Caroline Twemlow Acrylic, wax crayon, collage; acrylic and collage; acrylic transfer, acrylic, ink

Bernie O’Hare “Galway Hookers” oil on canvas (after a painting by Ivan Sutton); “Tra na Rossan ” oil on canvas (from photo by Rita Wilson)

Rosalind McConaghy Acrylic transfer and watercolour; mono print and soft pastel; mono print

Karen Hamilton “Disappearing Footprints” hand appliqué; “Tree” mono print and soft pastel; “Tree” watercolour, mono print and machine stitching; “Covid, covid Reflections” charcoal; “Oyster” watercolour

Julia Simms “Family Ties” mixed media; “Ballyholme Beach” monoprint; Abstract, mixed media; “Reflections of a Wet Dusk”, Ballyholme soft pastels; “Heirlooms, a Reflection” oil on canvas

Barbara Carlisle “Cumbrian Waterfall” oil on canvas; “Boathouse Reflection, Hillsborough; mixed media “Decades of Troubles” mixed media

Katherine Nixon “Skins” oil on gesso panel; “Wrapped” oil on gesso panel

Floresca Karanasou “Dutch Masters” soft pastels, (photo credit Sarah Raven autumn 2020 catalogue); “Lunar Annua” soft pastels (photo credit The Garden magazine Sept 2020)

Workshops

Seascapes in Pastels Workshop

 Saturday June 8th 2013

Soft pastels are, for me, a perfect medium for representing one of my favourite subjects – the sea. Whether it’s the wild, grey and black, crashing waves of the Atlantic or the gleaming reflective blues and greens of a summer-calm harbour.

Tetherd Red Boat

Rosie McClelland “Tethered Red Boat on a Green Sea”

Water has a pattern and if you look long and hard enough this becomes apparent.

We started off by searching for this pattern using just charcoal, standing at an easel where possible and a good distance away in order to use the natural rythm and flow of the body

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Roberta Lindsay Charcoal on Paper

Each person had their own image source and I had supplied board with roughly prepared gesso and marble dust which they coated first with a thin layer of acrylic colour of their choice. My suggestion was to underpaint with a warm colour such as burnt sienna. The underpainting colour will affect each subsequent colour applied and even if it can no longer be seen it will warm the final image.

The workshop consisted of people of varying abilities and experience and some of the following images are still works in progress.

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Roberta Lindsay

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Ciara Gilmore 

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Pamela G

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Catherine McKeever

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Maureen Ellis

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Lorraine McCreery

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Elizabeth Mercer

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Rachel Gilmore

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Kay Cullen

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Elizabeth Gowdy

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