I have been preparing classes for the year ahead and I am SO excited to announce my workshops for 2016 – I’m just buzzing with all the fun things I want to share and teach.
I have grouped my classes into three categories:
- Bookbinding Explorations
- Mixed Media Explorations
- Art Journal Explorations
I think the word “exploration” sums up my approach to teaching. In my workshops, I provide the materials, the know how, the space and a guided structure which allows students to react, learn and explore for themselves. You can read more about the different types of class below.
If you would like to book a workshop, you can find them here: www.portpatrickstudios.com/current-classes.
I have also included four days in August which are half day ‘taster’ classes where we work on a single project for the afternoon. I thought these might be fun for people who are here on holiday to try out, and as they are a cheaper price you could do more than one during the week.
Then there’s the biggie, a fantastic three day retreat in September. I have found an amazing venue in the most fantastic setting for three days of pure creative indulgence. This is still in the planning stages, but do check out the details below.
The title of each workshop is a direct link to the product on the Portpatrick Studios website.
Mixed Media Explorations
I’ve taught mixed media classes for many years now and I always advertise them as ‘no drawing skills required’. I have met and encouraged so many creative people over the years who are stifled by that hurdle and label themselves as not creative because they don’t pass the ‘does it look like it’s supposed to’ test.
Well the good news is, there are lots of other ways to express yourself and your creativity and that’s what mixed media is so brilliant at doing. The focus is on getting to know materials and looking at colour, balance, design and composition rather than observational drawing or painting skills.
If you want imagery, there are stencils, stamps and decoupage to achieve that. Texture and mark making play their part too and building up layers is a forgiving way to work, where there is no such thing as a mistake, just added richness that goes into making your unique work of art.
In this class we will explore a number of different materials to add some surface texture to a small canvas which will be decorated with paints and inks. We will create interesting imagery using a mixture of stencils, stamps and decoupage.
This is an experimental class where we focus on printing and painting techniques on paper. We will try out different types of ink and paint to create monotypes and work with stencilling, overprinting, mark making and writing to create interesting and totally unique layered prints.
We will use a whole range of media to decorate a set of little wooden crates. This class will include a range of techniques and vintage inspired media including paint, stencils, decoupage and vintage photo transfers.
Bookbinding classes need a structured step by step approach as they are very much about passing on specific skills and knowledge and steps need to be completed in a certain order.
My own knowledge comes from a time I spent studying traditional bookbinding with a retired Master Binder in Newcastle where we were taught in a very hands on way, with lots of practical hands on sessions.
Traditional bookbinding requires elapsed time to allow glue to dry between stages, so I have included a two day workshop which will give plenty of time to cover these stages and produce several finished books.
Bookbinding is a process that involves working in stages with elapsed drying time. This two day class will give students a chance to work on several books, using the drying time of one to continue work on another. We will make two types of hardback book, three different softbound pamphlets and a slipcase to house them all.
Learn some of the fundamental bookbinding techniques with simple book structures. We will create several different maze books, a Japanese stab bound book and a stitched watercolour journal.
In this class we will mix bookbinding with paints and inks to create beautiful papers which can then be made into intriguing and unique artists books. We will explore some fascinating folded books, including accordians, map folds and flag books.
Art Journal Explorations
The pages of an art journal are a private place where you can express yourself fully in words or images (or both) in a way that is totally authentic and is just for you. Of course if you choose to share your journal pages afterwards, that is fine, but if you start with the approach that this is a sacred and private space, where you don’t need to make it pretty or seek approval from anyone else, then you may just surprise yourself with your insights.
I love art journaling and see it as a mix of self expression, therapy, self care and fun, curious playtime. The way I write in my journals has changed as I have reached new levels of acceptance and contentment in my life, though like everyone, I still have anxieties, fears, self doubt and other rubbish to process and work out and that is where my journal becomes my best listener and counsellor.
Each class in my Art Journal Explorations is a stand alone class, but if you do more than one, you can build on what you learned in a previous class. I am planning on creating a series of class handouts for my journaling classes so that you can continue developing your journaling practice at home yourself.
In this class we will look at what makes a visual journal different to a written one. You will explore lots of ideas for getting background elements and colour onto your page using a range of media, then build up layers using a mix of stencilling, printing, stamping and collage.
Throughout the day we will be combining found images and words to arrive at a journal pages that are truly self expressive and meaningful to you.
Bring along a blank journal and we will turn it into your ‘happify’ book. Only things that make you happy go into this journal, so feel free to bring along any pretty papers, old ticket stubs, photos or any other items that invoke happy memories and feelings. We will also talk about gratitude and the link to wellbeing and embody those feelings into this journal too.
We explore both the visual and the writing side of journaling with a mixture of writing prompts and creative techniques designed to keep your journals a very private place. As well as looking at methods of disguising and veiling your writing, we will also look at how you can express yourself through colour and personal symbols.
All journaling classes include a handout with prompts and colour exercises for you to take home with you.
Summer School Half Day Taster Workshops
Monday 8th August – Thursday 11th August (1pm – 4pm)
In this fun class we will turn sea-weathered driftwood into quirky decorative pieces such as boats, lighthouses or beach huts. I have lots of driftwood pieces to choose from, but feel free to bring your own along if you prefer.
Inspired by the seashore, we will create a beautiful mason jar suitable for holding a small candle or tealight. Feel free to bring along shells, driftwood, sea glass and other beach finds if you want.
In this class we will create our own printed papers using inks and paints, then use them to create a fun and quirky nautical picture to remind you of your stay in Portpatrick.
Revive the lost art of letter writing by creating your own postcards and notelets with watercolour and seaside themed stamps and stencils. No drawing skills required!
The class content is still to be finalised, but it will be an inky, painty, fun-filled exploration of creative media, self expression and community. I have organised several retreats in the past, and hosted large scale workshops for my wholesale customers at trade events, so I am confident that I can put together a fantastic event that you will absolutely love.
Retreats are not just about the finished products, but about the process and the friendships forged along the way and I always like to pay as much attention to ensuring everyone feels comfortable and confident as I do to the artistic content.
The venue is Cream o’ Galloway, an award winning dairy farm and ice cream producer which is a short distance from Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway. If you didn’t already know, this region was voted the best holiday destination in the UK by Countryfile and there is lots to do for non participating partners – both in the this beautiful part of Galloway and in the venue itself (super adventure playground for the kids, ice cream making classes, bird hides, observation tower and lovely walks) .
Cream o’ Galloway have offered me a choice of two light and airy rooms for a retreat (depending on the class size) with delicious catering included. And of course we might just have to sample the famous ice cream – I mean, it would be rude not to really!
If you would like to be kept up to date with developments, just shoot me an email with the word Retreat in the subject line and I will let you know the price and details once we have them all worked out.