Monday, 27 January 2014


It was the end of the Summer Term and for the final session of Material Knowledge we looked back over the previous months activities and produced work incorporating some of the elements that we had learnt about; colour, tone, pattern and texture.

We had gathered lots of sheets of artwork from our explorations and used them as a resource. The images above and below have utilised pattern leftovers to create a 3D world for a central character. I like this idea, it seems that most of the time the starting point is the character and a world is built around them but instead, why not create a world or landscape first and then think about the kind of person or creature that would live there?
The landscape below was built up using textures with additions on top to bring the elements together.
Using a viewfinder, it is interesting to explore the different aspects.
As a result of attending Material Knowledge, my interest in pattern has deepened and I see it becoming increasingly incorporated into my own future work. I made the image below by selecting workshop leftovers that were in the same tonal range, cutting shapes to build up a regular repeat wave pattern and then added contrast with a bright irregular boat pattern (waves and boat images being another source of attraction for me).
It has been really useful to spend time looking at the basic elements that artists use to build up a work of art, although one key one aspect that we did not have time for is 'Line'.
There are many artists and sources of inspiration out there which can be used to develop a series of classes or workshops that could easily fill a whole academic year.
You could start by looking at examples by famous artists. Take a trip, go and look at their work for real - images in books or on the Internet cannot give you the full experience. Use a sketchbook (make a sketchbook!) and try to draw something in it every day - you could draw a visual diary, draw anything it doesn't matter, do it for a month and see what happens. Evaluate what you have produced after.
Wassily Kandinski, Piet Mondrian and Henri Matisse are good examples of artists famous for their use of colour. Gustav Klimt, Yayoi Kusama and Orla Kiely being best known for their pattern creations.
After observing 2-4 year olds play for the past few months it has become clear that the most engaging and creative experiences we set up for them are those that use open ended resources e.g. a large tray with a selection of items - a range of objects that are different sizes, shapes, textures and colours, containers and utensils. With these they role play cooking and other games, contain objects, fill and empty containers, position objects, make decisions, count and measure, talk to each other, walk away and come back again, sustain interest for extended periods of time. With no perceived limitations they are constantly discovering something new.
As artists and educators we can learn from our younger role models.
Keep an open mind, expectation kills creativity.
Plan, play, create, evaluate...and the art will make itself!


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