Monday, February 28, 2011

After school art program: primary colours

The second of eight classes for Gorey Educate Together After Schools Art Program looks at how to mix colours. Children between the ages of five and six years don't want a formal approach they want something to prompt learning and curiosity. A colour wheel would just be the wrong approach.
Starting the class with a scribble session with two different coloured crayons and letting the children loosen up with a good scribble also introduced the idea of when colours layer over each other they change.
For the main part of the lesson I wanted them to explore primary colours, red, blue, yellow and how mixing them produced secondary colours, green, orange and purple.
So the three main colour were put out into clear plastic drinking cups and a brush placed in it. The children naturally gravitated towards their own age groups and shared paints. I cut white cartridge paper into A6 size (A4 cut evenly into four). Each of the children were given three sheets of A6 and one sheet of A3 white paper.
The instructions were take one small sheet and paint it completely with the first primary colour , then print the small sheet on to the big sheet. Take another small sheet and paint the next primary colour and the third primary colour until the children had painted three sheets and printed the three primary colours in layers.
An A3 sheet was used as both backing paper to paint on the left side and printing paper to print on the right side.
There are some very good examples I'll get some more photos of them. Of course being in the thick of the excitement I was focused on the children rather then documenting the work.
Love the texture on this painted, printed A6 sheet, artist 6 years.
It was great to see them explore colours through print making. The printing also hight lighted great textures.
I love that when you give children an idea or a task and once they grasp it if there is space for them they will take the idea and make it their own.
When I work with children I try to ensure that space is there for them to flourish, experiment, play, engage, test, watch others, learn, introduce the learning, test it further, admire the results.I think we all deserve space like that.
This proved to be an excellent way to get young children to explore mixing colours and I thought it useful to share. The first half of the lesson they learned the process and really looked at what they were doing, observing asking questions and exploring. Instead of the colours all ending up a mucky brown mix which can happen very quickly with this age group when mixing colours the layers kept vibrant and introduced variations of shades both on the prints and the printing page.
Look at these amazing rainbows painted first then the print taken off.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What do you see?

I have been walking in the forest at Courtown Woods, Wexford on and off  for the last two weeks partly for exercise and partly to be in nature. Holly and ivy abound. But this tree above is in a most interesting clearing. On the day it was taken the sea was howling. What can you see?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Holly, seeking traditions & associations

Holly, Roisin Markham
I'm doing some research on Holly, otherwise know as Ilex aquifolium or in Irish An Cuileann. I have researched some of its uses and varieties and associated history. But I was wondering did you have any tales or folklore around holly? Would you like to share them?

Great post on which I will quote
Our native holly plant has a strong association with Christmas on this isle, one which can be traced back as far as the time of the Celtic druids. These “wise men” regarded holly as the king of winter, its over-wintering evergreen leaves and bright red berries reaching the height of their glory on the winter solstice (December 21st). 

After that time the druids other revered plant, the oak tree would displace the holly, then rise in power as its leafy coat became renewed by the oncoming spring. 
You can click here to read more information on there site.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Finding a bridge

Bridge, Marlay Park Series 2007, Roisin Markham
I am posting this here as a point of departure and arrival. When we find ourselves stuck there is always a signpost even within the quagmire of being stuck.
The above image started as one of my photographs as part of the 'Footprints in my heart' exhibition. It was altered in Photoshop to give it a print process feel. My modern approach to screen printing or photo-plate etching with out the equipment, inking up process, toxic smells, registration frustrations and cleaning up. However if I had access to that equipment and process I reckon I would be making prints. I love prints and the print making process. But my studio space, computer skills and limited time in the studio produced this.
Writing about it now I see it opened the doorway to using the computer to edit what I wanted to express. Much in the same way the digital photography process removes the chemical processing and hands on printing it is my response to control over the images. The sophistication of technology means that I can take images and manipulate them further to give variations of creative expression. But is it processing and manipulation for the sake of it?
Photography has been made more accessible, democratised if you will. But as a photographer what does that mean for me if it is a basic form of visual communication. Is that why my response has been to process my images further? No, but it is a good question.
My response to process my images further is to add layers of meaning with out adding explanation. Post editing my work means I express further the context of the image for exhibition. In which it sits as a chapter of a story being told. An evolving example of this is my Legacy project.
But what of the images I take on a regular basis? Some of them would make fantastic prints in there own right. But can't everyone take great images to print and make their own for their walls? Should I be doing more with my photography?
What do you think?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making work with intent

The love vibration. Roisin Markham, Hand rolled felt scarf. 2010.
Recently I have started making work for others with paying particular vibrational intention in the creation, making and packaging of felt. So as valentines day approaches if you would like something special for the loved one or organise a gift from someone special in your life. Call me lets discuss your budget and see what I can make for you.

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