Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tell Your Own Story Barnoldswick Library Session 1 & 2

This Tell Your Own Story course is different to the last course as students will be making their own journal from scratch.  The course will alternate art making and writing each week as we build up our journals and confidence to write.

In the first session we got to know one another and engaged in the first exercise entitled "writing self and place, I have written about this exercise in the first Tell Your Story course so if you want to try it then have a look at session 1 in the older posts from earlier this year. This first exercise takes students from writing one word, to a sentence to a constructed page story. Students were encouraged to read out their work.  This can be a daunting thing to do but everyone was applauded and given positive feedback on their contribution.

I  gave information about the need to have a creative ritual to tell your body that you are now engaging in a different activity.  A bit like when you put on exercise clothes and go for a walk or to the gym. its good also to have a special place and time when you do your creative activity and to ask people not to disturb you.  Turn your mobile phone & computer off.

We are doing a series of Qui Gong exercises in class.  This helps to reduce anxiety and take awareness into the body so that we are better able to write. A lot of what stops us being creative is worry and fear that we may get it wrong.  These exercises help to relax us and reduce that fear.

In session 2 we began to explore different paint effects in our journal pages.

You can do this at home by sourcing some thin cardboard-use old cereal packets or postage things.  Cut the cardboard up into rectangles that are double the size of your pages that you require-these will be folded and sewn together at a later date.  I paint the cardboard with regular white household emulsion and when it is dry varnish it with quick drying matt wood varnish.

Once the varnish is dry then you can use acrylic paint to paint your pages. Try smearing paint, painting with your finders, using a foam brush to make wide marks, sticks to make thin marks. Splatter, stiple & rag roll paint onto the pages.  Remember to keep warm and cool colours separate otherwise you'll end up with a dirty brown colour.  Find out about colour theory on line or from most artists books. This paint layer is a base layer so do not put too many colours on one page, otherwise when you come to print onto it or add collage & writing it may look too busy.

Here are some examples of students' work:

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