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.