Thursday, June 19, 2008

Graphite/Abstract Workshop

Yesterday Gine held a workshop at Otane. Firstly she taught us a new technique with graphite pencil and linseed oil. We drew an object (in my case a very strange seed head from an Australian tree which Gine lent me) with the graphite, shading in areas darkly before painting linseed oil over these areas and rubbing it in with a cloth. This caused the graphite to darken considerably and spread across the paper making for dramatic contrasts. After drawing the item realistically Gine told us to focus on just one area and draw that. Suddenly the object became a series of abstract shapes. For the past fortnight I have been watching DVDs of Stargate Atlantis which my brother lent me- I definitely think this may have influenced the sci fi feel of my second picture.

After we'd finished Gine had us lay our pictures together in the middle of the room while we stood and looked at everybody's efforts. The range of styles and the wonderful results were beyond anyone's expectations. By this time we were all fired up with enthusiasm.

The second part of the workshop Gine had us write down what art meant to us which we then read out aloud to the group. Some of the responses to this question were extremely moving and most were universal to all of us- the feeling of comaraderie we get from each other, the excitement of learning new things and of creating.

The final part of the workshop Gine provided us with textured card to work on along with items we'd brought from home. Our task was to create an abstract work based on our subject. I used small stones, lentils, rice and tissue paper to construct my work but too soon it was 2pm and time to leave so I never got my picture finished but brought it home to complete. The whole day flew by and I know the four hours we were there at the workshop were extremely constructive and inspiring.

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