February 11, 2016
Our first ArtStarts on Saturdays and ArtStarts at River Market workshops of 2016 had us rolling up our sleeves and awakening our creative side. On January 30 and 31, ArtStarts welcomed artist Julie McIntyre for printmaking workshops aimed at making new impressions. After all, it is the new year and what better way to get a new perspective than to get it down on paper.
The workshops were split into two parts each. First, kids were given waterproof markers and plexiglass boards on which to draw something that reminded them of home, and made them feel comfy and cozy. The innate creativity in children set them immediately to drawing and we saw some beautiful colours emerge in pictures of families and words of kindness.
Julie reminded the groups that when you're working on a print it's a mirror image, so you have to write the letters backwards and from right to left, in order to be able to read them later. While that didn't always work out—we saw a few backwards E's in the end—everyone was on board and had something nice to write.
Next was the really fun part. Bringing their plexiglass drawings to the printmaking table, children placed them on rubber mats (so that nothing would slip), put a piece of dampened all-natural cotton paper down, and then a piece of newsprint on top of that. Using wooden yoyos, spoons, and a 6th century tool called a baren, the kids rubbed their prints in little circles. Peeling away the layers revealed their colourful prints on paper.
After leaving the prints to dry on clothespins, Julie rounded everyone up for activity number two—the messy part! In a very similar process, the children were instructed to "carve" their drawings into pieces of styrofoam using pencils. In this round we saw lots of Valentines and outdoor scenes with trees, rivers—and even a planet! Bringing their carvings up to the printmaking table once more, everyone got to roll a layer of paint onto the styrofoam. There were bright oranges and reds, and deep rich purples and blues.
Following the same process as before, you place your cotton paper on top of the painted styrofoam, then newsprint on top of that. Rub away with that wooden baren and voila! A painted print to bring home to your Valentine.
There's one last bit of fun information to share. All of the tools and materials are available at your local art store. But there’s one piece of equipment you may already have—a pasta maker! Instead of rubbing your print with a wooden tool, you can also put the paper and plexiglass (or styrofoam) together and roll it through a pasta maker to create your print. Just don't eat it afterwards!
It was heartwarming to see parents and children working together to create beautiful pieces of art to bring home. Definitely some artwork worth sharing on the fridge or in a frame!
We hope to see you at our next event! Join us at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver on Saturday, February 27, 2016 and at ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster on Sunday, February 28, 2016 to Learn to Square Dance with Paul Silveria. Paul has been playing banjo and calling square dances across the west coast for over 10 years. He'll get beginners up dancing in minutes by teaching dances right on the floor! Sessions start at 11am and 1pm. As always, admission is free! See you there!
Thanks to Boeing for their generous support of the ArtStarts on Saturdays series.
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