Sunday 16 December 2012

A Gift At Christmas - a lesson to learn from Louise

Louise's gift
It is so wonderful to share what I know about art with others, especially children who are like sponges and from whom I often learn a lot the following is a perfect example. The Christmas  term has just finished for me and the Best present I received  was from a soft spoken polite eight year old girl in one of my classes. At the end of our session she came up to me with a huge smile on her face and presented me with a gift. I smiled, took it from her and told her that it was very kind of her to make me a present. She then explained that she found the ribbon on the floor at a friends house and that it was going to be thrown away, she added that the paper was also from a friend. I wished her a wonderful Christmas and she left smiling. I thought to myself, how kind, wonderful and thoughtful of her to think of me. When I reached home I did not open it immediately, I actually had forgotten about it and only when I was putting away the materials  did I find it again nestled amongst  the paints and papers in my bags. I sat and untied the brown dotted  ribbon, inside I found the best present in the world and was so moved by the beauty of her priceless gift. I cried.
It was so beautiful I had to share it. The photo  above shows how she carefully wrapped it. Inside they were two pages and she had written and drawn on them.

This page says 
"Art rocks
 I love art
Dear Shandra
I hade  grate fun at art class and you are the best art teacher ever from Louise"
I turned it over and on the other side she had written:
"Dear Shandra I hope you have a good halliday - get messy"
The final page (image  to the right)  had a drawing on it . It was all very special.

design by Dan Oszwa

This made me decide to create an Art Box present for Louise so that she can continue to create and blossom into  the artist that is inside her. She does not know it yet but next week I will present her with a box of art and craft materials, she deserves so much more than I can give. She reminds me of the little girl I was, I loved fabric, paper, buttons, colour, pencils etc. I did not have much but my mother gave me what she could to encourage and nurture my creativity. This unexpected gift of art materials will hopefully allow her to create, make, touch, paint and delight in the colours and textures, without worrying about the cost. I hope that it will also give her that small boost to ensure that she will become all that she can be and share her beautiful spirit with all the world. The greatest lesson to learn from this is that you do not have to spend huge amounts of money to spread and share the true meaning of Christmas. It is about giving with love.

Friday 7 December 2012

Christmas is near

I am not ready for Christmas, this is not a new dilemma for me as it happens every year. The annual Christmas dinner parties begin tomorrow and I have only just this morning managed to bring myself to buy an outfit to wear. I would rather buy more art materials, threads and fabric but I can't wear those to a formal dinner party, sadly. I am desperately trying to get into the Spirit of Christmas.

On a more positive note I have been working on two small ideas which I intend to mail to two special people I know. I started  with the smaller piece below and then created another one with slight differences. This has been a solution for using up smaller bits of fabric, left over from larger projects. This gives an indication of my working process.

In addition to these I have been developing the idea posted earlier (see below) and the following images are the results.
From the above idea, I  went onto another page in my sketch book and played around a bit more with the image, I liked what was happening. Although it was changing, I felt I could work with both in the future. I continued working with the second idea. I enlarged it and played around with some of the background elements from previous ideas.
 The image below was the result, I transferred my ideas onto Egyptian cotton which I then painted with fabric paints. My next step will be to create texture and pattern onto this surface with machine embroidery and printing. At the moment the background seems to overpower the portrait but with the pattern and texture that will change, also I will cut the size down a bit.