Sunday, March 22, 2009

Art At The Library

Well, Molly is the best Librarian any town could want: Iris and I moved books, book racks, and furniture this way and that at the Library yesterday, and while I was laying plastic on the floor, tables and along a line of shelves I mentioned my admiration for Molly's sense of adventure letting a bunch of artists with paint into her space: and she had nothing but encouragement for us all.

Yesterday we had our first segment of the Artist Journals workshop. I am going to sit here and wax poetic about the way we grow 'em artistic in these parts. Wow! Not only was our class full - it was over-bursting! (There is a waiting list that I think is still growing and we are promising a second or even third workshop later this spring and summer. Let the Library know if you want to join us.) We had several decades between the oldest and the youngest of our group, we had professional artists, professional elementary school students, and a couple of other employment groups represented as well. And we had lots of fun art supplies thanks to our wonderful grant.

Next, I have to tell you that even the socially shy amongst us were gleefully pushing the edges of that Art Envelope. Everyone came along on the ride as we tested out several techniques of getting color and texture onto pages for our journals. We all came up with excellent versions of laying paint on, and lifting paint off, our pages that will make for some fascinating backgrounds upon which to later collage, draw and write.
Here are a couple of photos of what I did, and please check out Iris's blog and our page at the Library's site for more photos. Above is color spritzed with water and then pulled off with scrunched up paper towel, then more color applied with scrunched up newspaper dipped in a small amount of blue: "dry scrunched". There is a little dry brushing over there on the right.

The photo below looks like writing, doesn't it? It isn't, quite. I painted my gessoed 70# paper yellow and then tried to thrill that up with blue, or turn it turquoise or something. That didn't really work and so I sprayed it with water and ended up letting it sit for a minute or so longer than I had intended. I finally decided to get newspaper flyer (the coated, shiny paper), twisted it up and when I started daubing it into the watered paint it made these great marks that you see. Another woman found that regular newpaper paper, just the black and white stuff, worked best for her. We just kept trying everything!
So as well as my appreciation to all the participants, and to Molly, our Director, I just want you to know what a fabulous crafting-librarian we have in Iris. She makes these classes I dream up over-the-top-wonderful. Iris culled a georgous series of diaries and journals from the Library's collection - for both adult and young readers. Many of us took some out to read over the next couple of weeks while we let our further painting at home dry. Iris remembers everyone's name and everyone's best loved books, works indefatigably to help me get everything in order, and is a happy, talented artist herself who continues to inspire the rest of us. Her enthusiasm for art at the Library, at home, on her blog and at school events makes us all the richer. Thank you, Iris!
A couple more pictures here. I had to make some papers for examples for the class and then I had to start doing something with them!! As well as making pages for my journal (below) I started making small collages, here. (As I finish them they'll be available at my etsy site.)

And here is part of one of the actual journal pages that I am working on. You can see over there on the left that there are holes punched - we are going to keep our pages in three ring binders. Oh! Good work all of you! What fun it is to work ... I mean play with you!