Mask Magic 2

Mask Magic 2

At a building owned by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM), I conducted a two-part mask making workshop! Families who rented units in the building attended, with children, spouses, and neighbors.

webcThe work created is breathtaking, and was shown last Friday November 4th at an exhibition entitled,
The Artists Among Us“.

Here is this chapter of their story.

webiDuring the first workshop, participants learned to pound out slabs of air-dry clay, create an “armature” with newspaper to give their masks depth, and form their clay slabs over the armature.

weblThe following week, participants used acrylic paints to add color, visual texture, design and pattern to their masks and other clay items, and also enjoyed painting on thick watercolor paper. As acrylic paints dry quickly, and are no longer water-soluble once dry, the artists were able to continue to add paint, details and layers.

web1Reveling in color and brush work, this young artist filled her surface with exploration.

webaI did not see this couple enter the room, and suddenly there they were, painting with complete concentration.

webbParticipant interaction makes the whole experience the more rich.

webdEach got their own palette of colors on a Styrofoam plate, with empty plates available for mixing and discovering colors.

webeGreen grass with delicate characters above.  She must love purple. Maybe she will add it later to her painting!

webfFocused artist and craftswoman.

webgAdding detail.  Every brush I brought seemed to have been used!

webhShe seems to know exactly what she wants to paint, as if the vision was already inside her head.

webnEnergetic color, imagery, brush strokes and composition create movement in this piece.

webvA lion happened on this plate!  Painting? Mask? Both?!

webzHe said it was his first time painting…he must be a natural. What talent!

Many thanks to the marvelous and devoted  Rene Melara, programmer extraordinaire, for the opportunity to work with these wonderful participants, and see their artwork blossom.

Bravo!

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Wave your Flag!: Teens Create Flag Books in Honor of The Big Read

Wave your Flag!: Teens Create Flag Books in Honor of The Big Read

As a program of The Big Read in LA, 2016, I taught a flag bookmaking workshop at Verduga Hills High School. The Big Read book is Ray Bradbury‘s “Fahrenheit 451“, in which firemen light fires to burn books, instead of rescuing them from the flames. Although published over 60 years ago, the book remains uncomfortably relatable to present day issues. Even prescient at times.

Conducting the workshop with the teens was great.  I loved it, the students loved it, the school librarian loved it, and the classroom teacher loved it.  Here are a few images of what the students made.

WEB10Students had a choice of “flag” pages: rectangles of uniform size, cut from tagboard in an array of bright colors, repurposed library return cards offered up by the school librarian (treasures!), pieces of  sketchbook covers, and  one off items such at the card above, painted in black chalkboard paint and adorned with red letters and numbers.

WEB3Students used a variety of materials to create layered meaning through text and image.

WEB1They mixed it up, playing with pattern, visual texture and color in their compositions.

WEB8A curated selection of quotes from the book were available, and a number of students used them in their books.

WEB7These young artists had the passion!

WEB6They spoke their hearts.

WEB5“Meaningful elements remind us to live”

WEB2“Pura Vida” = Pure Life.  Setting the intention?

WEB12The color combinations were striking, and students had the chance to see first had how the red accordion spine looked different pared with green….

WEB11and blue. This ambitious young artist reassembled the words that had been cut from this sketchbook cover, to striking effect on his book.

WEB9The Flag Book is a potent vehicle for personal expression, allowing for visual and verbal content on its numerous surfaces, places and spaces, in the form of writing, drawing, collaging, note taking, photographs, and combinations of any and all of these.

Once makers see and experience the possibilities, they are off to the races, their creativity limited only by time and space.

Let the flags of your own creativity, ideas, thoughts and feelings wave! Ray Bradbury did.