The Trip To Sirigu Was Very Inspiring

DSC_1044The trip to Blogatanga and Sirigu was just as amazing as we thought it was going to be. We stayed in SWOPA which is famous for its basket weaving, murals and pottery. We balanced sight seeing trips with pottery, painting and weaving classes. By doing the painting course I was able to learn the meanings behind the geometric symbols which are now appearing in my paintings.

I really like the geometric designs not only because they make my work a little more unique but they also remind me of Sirigu. This painting is a small cute painting inspired by the mural designs and the guinea fowl which are everywhere. They are such cute birds. I used the mixed media Gesso painting techniques which I am working with in my grade 7 and 8 classes. I had no idea oils pastels, chalks , charcoals and watercolours worked this way in wet Gesso.

DSC_0196 This technique is very similar to my previous style which incorporated rollers and textures but this time I added some small Sirigu designs and put Gesso through a stencil which is another mixed media technique that I am exploring with my students. I love the large pots as they were so round and were huge. It was incredible watching the ladies load up their massive pots on their heads.

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This is the piece I created today inspired from the food section in the Sirigu market. It is more like my previous style incrporating fabrics, textures and rollers. This time I used stencils too to replicate a fabric design. I loved the splash of red colours in the market so decided because the tomatoes were so bright I would use a predominantly cool colour scheme so that the tomatoes would become a focal point. The black-brown adds great contrast which is why I still love using that technique of painting onto a dark background.

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Mixed Media Exploration Continues

Trying texture with watery acrylics and used an old earring as a detail.

Trying texture with watery acrylics and used an old earring as a detail.

I am really enjoying these techniques. I think I will use some of them on my new paintings. I have just added this Gesso stencil relief to a background of one of my canvases.

Usually I “roller” colours on or paint in a brown black background before I draw up my focal point. However, I think I will now try this watery technique and gradually build up. This takes a little longer because you have to wait for all the layers to dry but if I have a few pieces on the go I should be able to keep working. The art journal is going to be a fabulous place to try new techniques and procrastinate in a creative way, haha. I am loving it!

I didn’t get my canvas paintings started today because I don’t know what I will be painting yet. This is what I have waiting for me…
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I need a plan and some inspiration before I start with them so I think I will continue to play until I figure it out. This weekend my husband and I will be traveling to Northern Ghana to Sirigu where they have the most fascinating arts and crafts especially stunning basket weaving. I am sure I will come back with plenty of inspiration even if it is just a desire to paint the unique trees.

This is where we are going http://www.swopa.org/ I have booked us two nights there including some pottery, painting and basket weaving classes.

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We are also hoping to visit GLish: http://g-lishfoundation.myshopify.com/pages/about-us  

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I am really hoping to see the village and meet the ladies who create these stunning pieces. I would even love to take a class with them but am not sure that is an option. Anyway next weekend is going to be very exciting and inspiring for my future paintings. Stay tuned.

I am Back In the Studio And Am Exploring Art Journaling.

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Today I decided to experiment with mixed media and art journaling techniques inspired by books and some favourite art jounaling websites which I discovered this week. I have been wanting to do this for a long time but have been too busy working on my canvases for the exhibition but now I have time and my students have given me motivation because this week I am introducing these techniques to my grade 6, 7 and 8 classes and to my Art for the Soul group. I thought I should experiment before introducing it to them.

This was my starting point. I stuck several pieces of watercolour paper down onto cardboard and then played with different backgrounds such as: contrasting papers (newspapers, receipts and brochures),  foil (flat and scrunched), acrylic paint and the last one was Gesso with textures from thick paper and stencils. All the attachments were stuck on with Matt Gel medium but normal PVA glue would work too.

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When it was all dry I added small touched of gold and silver pen and stenciled the word create. The masking tape was carefully peeled off and I applied another layer of Gel medium.

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Wet Gesso and drawing media. When Gesso is wet it is like a glue. You can paint, draw, drop in sand, fabric and any other textures.

 

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This was on one piece of newspaper. I scumbled (dry brushed) white paint over the newspaper, allowing the text to shine through in parts. I allowed it to dry and then drew my image on. Paint was loosely applied in the fruit, bubble wrap was used for the table and stencils were applied in the background. While the paint was wet I glazed a wash of yellow over the stencils to brighten the background. A small piece of paper towel was added to the pears. I created a negative print to add texture inside the fruit. The final touches were the tones, shadows and outlines.

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Foil with a wash and opaque paint. Details could be added with a stamp or embossed metal. You could even attach an old earring or charm with hot glue.

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The last project for the day was the start of my first ever art journal. Art journals are personal books which combine paint, collage, textures and writing. Every page is unique and special. I am planning to work on this book 10-20mins every day. It is actually an old children’s book which I applied Gesso to as this made the page thicker.

The last step would be to add the details through the use of patterns with pens and lastly add the journal writing. I am not sure what I will be writing about yet. Basically a journal could be a to do list, a day in your life, a memory, a poem, song, wish, dream absolutely anything you want. Here are some brilliant examples that have inspired me to do this:

Balzer Designs- http://balzerdesigns.com/Tutorials.html

Squidoo- http://studentz.squidoo.com/journal-moleskine-sketchbook-art-inspiration-examples-page-spreads-photos

Teesha Moore- http://teeshascircus.blogspot.com/

Photo Transfer Techniques- http://artinredwagons.blogspot.com/search/label/photo%20transfer

 

So which paintings are still for sale?

I have had some emails asking which paintings are still for sale. So here you go this is what I have left:

If you are interested in any please email: rtjardin@lincoln.edu.gh

There are a couple I am thinking of keeping though but please feel free to contact me. Now that I have had a rest I will get back to painting ready for my last exhibition. Not sure where that will be but am thinking I might need to book a space soon. That will motivate me to keep painting.

2014 Jan ART Exhibition in Ghana

On the 24th of Jan we had a major art exhibition/celebration at Alliance Francaise. My work was for sale and on display next to my grade 6 and 7 students’ work. The grade 6 students had studied Ablade Glover, a famous and highly respected artist from Ghana. Whilst my grade 7 students worked with Jennifer Goss, a visiting artist from the USA.

Ablade Glover the artist who my students studied.

Ablade Glover the artist who my students studied.

The exhibition was a huge success for many reasons. Firstly, I sold 20 paintings out of 28 they are still currently hanging at Alliance Francaise until Monday, Jan 3rd. I have never sold that many in one opening night before. Secondly, the students were extremely excited to actually meet Ablade Glover and explain their art work to him. The parents and the students seemed to genuinely enjoy looking at both my work and the students.

Cheryl's purchase

Cheryl’s purchase

We hung 3 recycled chandeliers and put three display boards outside too which complimented the setting perfectly. After the 6-7pm opening the LCS (band, choir, drama and step) students performed and were also supported by Offie, an amazing vocalist often seen at +233 (the jazz bar).

DSC_0661I will be packing up the exhibit on Monday so if you missed it  you can still go on Saturday. I would love to know what you think. Thanks again to everyone who loved my paintings enough to buy them and to everyone who supported this wonderful 45th anniversary event. It really was a truly wonderful community event.

 

 

The Last Work Before The Exhibit

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I reworked a painting which was bothering me so I took a boat out and incorporated a funny quote which has proven to be quite popular. I am now much happier with this piece and really love the colours.

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This was the view from Cape Coast Castle. The boats are so much fun to paint. I decided to continue to use the dark background to create contrast between the light and bright beach colours. This is actually quite a large piece.

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This is also a large long piece also from the west coast of Ghana. You can see a blend of old and new styles here. I have used the dark background, textures, rollers and added my new favourite effect of dribbled paint and rollers. This one has it all!

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Another market/fabric scene using rollers, stencils and real fabric. This version was inspired from my last exhibition.

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My last piece before the exhibition. I really do love these colours and had so much fun painting it. This piece is layer on layer using knives, rollers,sponges and brushes. It also has my Ghana touch of fabric and beads.