Day 3. at the recent Cairns ARTescape began with my class completing their monochromatic paintings. This task was well handled by everyone, with a few standouts.
The main aim of the day was to introduce ‘visual awareness’ in the form of an excursion to the Flecker Botanical Gardens (next door), some drawing in the visual diaries and the design and production of a large (A1-size) pastel abstract composition. But first we needed to stop off at the café close-by for a discuss and of course, a coffee!
I wanted the class to not only look at objects, but to analyse them by looking at the arrangement of shapes, lines, textures, colours, light and shadow. This sounds like forensic (art) science, and that’s probably true. We can look at an object and never really see it for what it is, or what it could be when used in a painting along with our imagination.
Art is not just about ‘seeing’, it’s about thought , imagination and ideas. I wanted each member of the class to move about the gardens and find objects that interested them, and record the various patterns and shapes that took their fancy.
We returned to our classroom and began making sense of what we had seen and recorded. The results were impressive, even more so when you consider the lack of experience the students have had in formulating such work. I was impressed!
Day 4. Saw the completion of the large pastel studies, followed by a short introduction to the value of shadows. A small drawing followed a series of diary sketches.
The afternoon saw a presentation from each class member on what they intended to do for their ‘major’ artwork, a culmination of what had been covered to date. I wish I had recorded what was said, as this was the most powerful session of the entire workshop. I was so impressed with the clarity of ideas and direction that each member detailed. Their self-confidence was very much evident and they were ready to produce something special. And they did!
In my next post I will discuss the events of Day 5. and give my evaluation of the workshop.