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Sneak Peak into Resin Sculpture

By | Art, Lifestyle

A FEW WORDS ABOUT RESIN SCULPTURE

 

Last Sunday saw the start of a new kind of workshop at Art Mania. Last Sunday and for the coming two Sundays, we are running a resin sculpture workshop. Given my love of resin and sculpture, I thought it was the workshop for me and thus far I’ve been correct. On the first day we designed on the design, or picture. The other key word in the title of the workshop was foreshore. I’ve not put this in my title, because we weren’t limited to Newcastle’s foreshore.

My scene is rockpools and beach surrounded on three sides by water. I think of it as either a headland or part of an island.

 

LET ME WALK YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS

 

To create this first section, we were all given a small bucket of putty. This was used to make rocks, reefs and other objects wanted by each individual in their scene. I of course ran out of putty before I’d finished creating all my rockpools. Lucky for me, a fellow creator and friend didn’t need all of her putty and was happy to give it to me.

Once the rocks and reefs were established, it was time to add the sand. This was where it got messy. Although for me I’d already made a mess by choosing to dig my putty out with my hands and digging in my fingers to give texture to my rocks.

For the whole group, the sand was the messiest part. We needed to mix the sand with glue. The idea was to make it wet enough to be able to manipulate, but not so wet that it couldn’t be sculpted.

The whole process was finished in around an hour, giving everyone an early mark from the first day. We were unable to move on from this step, as the sand and putty needed at least twenty four hours to dry.

A BEAUTIFUL THING CALLED UNIQUENESS

Walking around the room after everyone had gone, looking at each piece, there wasn’t a single piece the same as someone else’s. We had all put down totally unique foundations for our pieces. This is one of the things I love about creating. Even with the same instructions and same materials, you can still be completely unique because it’s also about what you personally bring to the creating table.

We were all sent home with the instructions to gather together any little bits and pieces we want to add next Sunday. Things like shells, fish etc. I’ve been hunting out little sea creatures I can add and gathering twigs for driftwood.

We all meet again this coming Sunday and I can’t wait to see what everyone does next.

 

– Sam Ogilvie

Featuring Lee-Anne Corrigan

By | Art, Virtual Gallery

Lee-Anne Corrigan is a Novocastrian Artist and Art teacher, who loves painting portraits and contemporary themes in oil, acrylic, pastel and mixed media.

Lee-Anne’s qualifications include Diploma in Art, Diploma in Education and Post Graduate art University of Newcastle.

She has worked full-time and part-time in Secondary and Tertiary Education since 1983 as an Art teacher and instructor and have taught Children’s Art classes since 1990. Lee-Anne also held a position of the Art Director at Society of Artists between 2016 and 2018. Presently you can find her working as the early childhood art educator at The Rumpus Room Early Childhood Centre.

She has been actively pursuing her passion for Art in competitions and exhibitions and have received awards from The Society of Artists, winning The Newcastle Prize for overall Best Painting in 2018 for her oil painting of Three Kings.

‘Princess Dreaming’ 

Oil on canvas, 75 x 61 cm, $550

Artist Statement: Children are often the subject of my artwork. I have always enjoyed teaching children at my home art studio since 1990. This painting is a whimsical composition depicting children at play as they explore dress up and dreams. It is inspired by Chagall, one of my favourite artists.

‘Encaustic Still-life’ 

2020, Mixed media and beeswax 31 x 25 cm, $120

Artist Statement: This year I have turned my home studio into an encaustic art studio for experimenting with hot wax painting as an extension of my interest in mixed media. My husband keeps bees and I make my own paint with beeswax and Damar resin. It’s an exciting medium to explore and blend with drawing, painting, collage and 3-D art forms.

‘Portrait of Kurt Fearnley’

2018, Oil on canvas 75x 61cm,  $550

Artist Statement: I painted Kurt’s portrait for the Portrait Painters Hunter annual portrait exhibition. I met Kurt while I was working as early childhood art educator at The Rumpus Room Childcare Centre.
Kurt Fearnley is a renowned Novocastrian and Australian wheelchair racer who won gold medals at the Paralympic Games. This portrait was voted People’s Choice in 2019.

‘Profile with a water pot’

2020, Pastel on colour-fix paper, 47x37cm, $160

Artist Statement: A profile photo from my travels to Uganda was the subject for this pastel portrait drawing. I love to teach portraits to my students and I made this one for a Zoom Art class during lockdown.

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN: SAM’S STORY

By | Art, Lifestyle

Hi, my name is Sam. I am an artist with a visual impairment.

I have been in lockdown for what feels like forever. Unable to complete many daily activities myself, because they require setting foot out in the world. A world that I don’t recognise, other than a place of science fiction and dystopian literature.

Sam before lockdown, taking part in one of Art Mania Studio’s resin workshops.

My art is keeping me positive and sane. Thanks to Fee and Art Mania Studio, I have already received care packs full of art supplies. One of the things in my first care pack was a mannequin, the torso of a woman. For the last few Tuesdays I’ve been connecting with Ashlee, one of our fantastic new teachers, via facetime. In these sessions I’ve been working on my mannequin.

This is a torso similar to Sam’s. This one has been painted by our teacher Ashlee.

The aim of the process is to use a multitude of textures such as fabric, paper, feathers, shells, to convey what this shattered, surreal world is making me feel.

At first, what drew my focus was the simple act of getting to work with my hands. Letting my hands tell me what to place where. After all, my hands are my eyes. And trusting my hands, especially in my art, makes me very present in the moment. It doesn’t allow my brain time to question the process.

For someone prone to anxiety and panic attacks, along with a tendency toward depression, my art grounds me. Grounds me, like nothing else can in this new world of unfamiliarity.

It’s also great for me to unpack my feelings, fears, expectations through the artistic process. It makes it possible to confront and deal with any negativity before it has a chance to manifest into a bigger, more unmanageable problem.

So this has become my world. Each morning I get up, have my very necessary and important morning coffee. Once this is done and emails are checked. I turn to my art. Often listening to an audio book while I work.

I don’t know what I would do without this process to keep me on a positive path. Nor do I know what I’d do without Fee and Dana and my weekly catchup with Ashlee. I strongly encourage you to give it a try.

Introducing Samantha Ogilvie

By | Art, Virtual Gallery

How do you keep creative during lockdown?

 

I’ve been very lucky when it comes to lockdown. I’ve been able to continue one on one classes at Art Mania using Facetime. These sessions have been the highlight of my week and has given me something to look forward too, especially during a dark week.

 

I’ve found that it’s easier if I make sure I schedule in some creative time everyday.

 

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, this weekend I’m cleaning up a clay bowl I made on the wheel. This involves shaving off outer layers of clay to clean and shape. I find the rapidity soothing and even meditative. Even just some colouring in will help stay creative. If you’re a parent, it would also help the family to try doing something creative together.

Who’s Samantha and what kind of art does she create?

Samantha Ogilvie has an advanced diploma in Professional writing and editing. She is a poet and blogger who has only recently come back to art.

She works with several different forms, styles and materials. Clay, mosaics, glass fusing, mixed media and painting. Most of her work is inspired by the natural world and attempts to show just what she can see, rather than focusing on what she can’t. Flora and fauna along with pieces that juxtapose the natural world with the artificial. All the materials Sam uses are chosen for their feel and texture.

 

Nightscape

Artist Statement: This painting is one of several created by the artist where different materials were used to create a textured view of a visual that is often taken for granted. As the artist is blind, the idea was to create something we all know, but from the unique point of view of someone who sees the world differently to the sighted. Rock salt was scattered over the canvas while the undercoat was still wet and more water sprayed over the salt. The salt that didn’t dissolved was shaken off or wet as part of the end piece. This has worked to create a visual representation of the artist’s tactile view. Other layers of paint has also been used to fill out this visual representation.

Landscape of the blind

Artist Statement: This painting was created using the same techniques as the previous painting. Rather than using salt, the artist has experimented with other materials. Glue was applied with a glue gun to make the surface of the painting uneven and textural. Once the under-coat of paint was applied, different colours of wax were dripped across the canvas. Again, it is created to try and give those the sighted world, a glimpse into what someone without sight can see and just how much their hands can actually see.

Lockdown Tatoo

Artist Statement: A shop mannequin consisting of torso and top of the thighs. Using multiple materials I wanted to create a piece that expressed the effects of isolation and the new landscape created by Covid-19. the collar hanging around the neck symbolises the loss of control over ones life and the enforcement of restrictions and rules. The leather over the shoulders and upper chest are an armour against the fear of the unknown. the tangle of thread over abdomen is the tangle of the gut when dealing with the new foreign world.

In contrast the torn up pieces of book pages covering the back is the power of words that has always been been available and the shells are the ebb and flow of the tides offering hope that things don’t last and there will be an end. The softest materials represent the softer underbelly in all of us. And the criss-cross materials are to represent the stitching of ones self back together.

Featuring Michelle Nugent

By | Art, Virtual Gallery

How do you keep creative during lockdown?

 

During lock down, I have been experimenting with new ideas, concepts and materials. I start my day with a twenty-minute exploration exercise, and each day I aim to try something different. It also challenges me to produce something in a limited amount of time, which is hard for me as I tend to overthink and dwell on an artwork. I then start my day, which has usually been working on commissions. Follow up with another twenty-minute exercise after lunch to break up my work and reignite my creative juices for the afternoon.

 

I think it is important that we allow ourselves the opportunity to experiment without judgement, and explore without limitations.

 

This is when growth occurs! If you are finding yourself struggling during lock down, I encourage you to try my twenty-minute exercise. Try something new; maybe you have always wanted to try palette knife painting, or use collage in a mixed media piece… It can be anything! Remember to set aside all judgement – it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece!

You might discover something really amazing…

Let’s learn a bit more about Michelle and her art

Michelle Nugent is a Newcastle-based artist, working across a range of mediums.

She produces both personal and commissioned works, for a variety of clients. Her works range from mixed media, watercolour and digital, and are available for purchase as prints and a selection of originals are also available. Michelle is constantly looking to the environment around her to gain inspiration and ideas for her explorative work, and is always seeking new ways to improve her practice.

Organic Exploration #04

Watercolour, Sharpie, and Chalk on 200gsm cold-press watercolour paper, 21cm x 29.7cm, $35.

Artist Statement: Organic Exploration #04 is a study of the basic principles and elements of art in the form of a mixed media work. I have layered different mediums to explore organic shapes and their relationship between rhythm, pattern, and line. The shapes drawn in pen and chalk suggest fluidity and a relationship to water in the organic environment, which correlates to the material used on the bottom layer (watercolour). When creating this work, I imagined water droplets hanging from the linear patterns, creating an overall sense of movement.

Digital Illustrations & Portraits

Digital Illustrations, custom, prices are as follows: 1 Person – $30, 2 people – $50, 3 people – $65, 4 people – $80, 5+ people – $100+. Note: Drawings are customised to each person, thus the exact ones in the images are not for sale and serve as an example.

Artist Statement: These portraits are completely customisable depending on requirements. Using a reference image, I create a character drawing of up to ten people. They are a great way to capture a moment in a fun and creative way. I can add in things that are representative of the particular person, such as wearing a jersey of their favourite team, playing an instrument etc. They make wonderful gifts and look great in a frame.

Meet Ashlee Jedrzejak

By | Art, Virtual Gallery

I must always create, it's who I am...
Creativity for me births the entangled
and chaotic words and feelings
entrapped in mind, body and soul.
It’s my voice - an infinite
wordlessness spoken to the universe.

Ashlee JedrzejakArtist | Art Teacher

Let’s learn a bit more about Ashlee and her art

Ashlee has completed an Advanced Diploma of Fine Art, at Newcastle Art School, and is a practicing artist and art teacher.

She has had a innate passion for creating art from a very young age. Loves experimenting and exploring with an array of different art materials, but particularly enjoys acrylic painting and drawing. Ashlee has an affinity to create with a kaleidoscopic pallet, and uses courageous mark making to produce energetic works of art that are very raw and playful. Her inspiration is magnetized from nature, and day to day experiences.

Ashlee is an immense believer in art, as a means of self expression, and finds the act of art making quite therapeutic and enlightening. She feels that it is an honourable experience to guide and teach others to this awareness.

‘Tide pool’ 

2020, Acrylic on canvas 51 x 61 cm, NFS

Artist Statement: Inspiration for ‘Tide Pool’ was drawn from the Carey hole in Newcastle, and also in a metaphorical sense it reflects the landscape of the mind. It portrays a treasure trove of marine delights, in a tiny yet complex ecosystem. It was fascinating to create this piece, explore and experience where these hardy inhabitants survive the pounding waves, forceful winds and exposure to the sun.

‘Enlightenment’

2018, Mixed media on board 45x 60cm,  $160

Artist Statement: My work ‘Enlightenment’ was created while pregnant with my second son, and in the depths of exploration of self. It reflects the childbearing woman, nourishment of breastfeeding, and the correlations between nature as a source of life and an inspiration for personal reflection and emotional growth.

‘Eye don’t know’

2019, Mixed media on board 30x45cm, $120

Artist Statement: ‘Eye don’t know’ was created and guided by intuition. The repetitive use of the third eye symbol is a reflection of self- what it is to be human and woman, and the connectedness to the universe. The gaze of the figure holds painful yearnings and love that is so potent and melancholy that it lingers. It’s a love that lunges forward in anticipation, but with nothing to meet it…

ART AND MUSIC WITH SAM

By | Art, Lifestyle

Let me introduce you to Sam, part of our team and also a member of Art Mania Studio’s Business Development Program.
Before we went into lockdown, we were supporting Sam at our studio in her art and personal development studies.  

Sam participated in an art session in February that combined the creative powers of paint and music.
Sam worked with art teacher Ashlee, who chose the music for the session and provides support for Sam’s visual impairment.

“It’s about being in the zone,” Ashlee explained. “Painting the movement of the music and what emotions might come up in connection to the music.”

“Painting to the music reminds me of meditation,” Sam says.
“When I’m painting, I’m not thinking about things. I’m connected to the music and I just paint what feels right.”


“Yes, it’s not about technique, or thinking about what colours to use,” Ashlee added. “It’s very freeing.”


As I watch Sam paint, I can see how she likens the process to meditation. There is mindfulness in the way she paints.
Dipping her brush in colours without hesitation, the instrumental music connects to her paintbrush to create lines and shapes.
There is an instinctive feel to this process, an emotional experience that flows from sound and the stillness of being. 


Painting is only one of the mediums Sam creates with at Art Mania Studio. She also works in clay, resin and mosaic mediums.

One of the challenges Sam faces now is how to continue her art now that she is in lockdown at home.
She is currently participating in online art sessions via Zoom, and we have invited Sam to share her thoughts with you through blog updates.

Stay tuned for some personal posts from Sam!

CREATE YOUR HOME ART STUDIO

By | Art

Having a space to create and keep yourself or others in the house entertained during this lock down time is super important.

If your home allows, having a dedicated area for creativity is a great way to ensure you invest time into things that keep your brain active and your nervous system calm.

 

We throw away so many things that could be used for creating.
Make it a habit from now to wash out any plastic food containers and keep all those empty toilet rolls, bottles and bottle lids

 

Here is an idea to fill an afternoon or two:

  • Set up a table in your home that can become your dedicated creative zone.
  • Use ice-cream, mushroom, yoghurt or other larger containers to store craft supplies in. Having everything in containers allows you to grab them out when you want to use something and keeps everything neat and contained.
  • Use smaller containers as brush and pen holders or for water for brush cleaning when painting.
  • Get creative and create a castle using these different sized containers and toilet rolls standing up on their end. Glue all together using PVA glue or hot glue and create a multi-level storage castle that can fit on one end of your creative work space. This allows everything you need to be easily accessible. 
  • You could paint the castle and label the different areas accordingly to make the structure visually stunning and user friendly. 

 

Send us a pic of your creative space!

Email to hello@artmaniastudio.com.au or tag us on your socials #artmaniastudio

 

Stay tuned as Art Mania Studio will keep bringing you ideas on how to stay creative whilst at home. 

 

HOW TO USE ART TO CALM YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

By | Art, Uncategorized

Firstly, I’d like to invite you to take a deep breath.
Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4 and slowly exhale to the count of 4, do this 4 times.

Wonderful, now enjoy some nurturing information to help you during this strange time.

The left hand side of our brains are extremely active during times of stress as we cognitively try to find solutions to the problem we face.
When there is no solution, our mind can loop and the body continually produces cortisol and hormones that ignite our fight, flight or freeze response.
Not a good way to live!

So, how do we move out of that and into a more relaxed space by doing things that stimulate the right hand side of the brain – let’s get creative!

Your left hand brain controls:

  • Analytic thought
  • Logic
  • Language
  • Reasoning
  • Science and math
  • Written
  • Numbers and skills
  • Right-hand control

Your right hand brain controls:

  • Art awareness
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Insight
  • Holistic thought
  • Music awareness
  • 3D forms
  • Left-hand control

Art Awareness & Creativity

Draw, doodle, paint, make sculptures out of recycled things, plant something in the garden, make a nature mandala – be creative with what’s around you.

Imagination & Intuition

Tell stories and make them as elaborate as possible. Improve your intuition using practises like meditation, journaling or automatic writing. Ask a question and see what comes. Trust your feeling sense and follow it to do something that your being needs in order to relax the nervous system.

Play music, dance, sing, make shadow puppets or play dress ups.

We have a unique opportunity to shift our focus to our internal world and the private space of our home. What’s something you never had time for? What hobby could you start or study you can partake in that will nourish you and feed your heart and mind?

Talk to friends and family, stay connected and be creative.

Art Mania Studio wishes everyone a safe and healthy time at home.

We will be offering DIY art project kits and video tutorials very soon. These can be posted out and done at home to keep you having a creative outlet that feeds your soul.

WHEN ART MEETS ECOSYSTEM

By | Art, Lifestyle

WHEN ART MEETS ECOSYSTEM

The beginning of the new year at Art Mania brings along with it some exciting news for our kids and teens. We have established a new class which will take place at the Hunter Wetlands Centre. This 8 week kids program combines the amazing natural world of fauna and flora with the incredible wellbeing and expression that art provides!

This partnership between Art Mania Studio and the Hunter Wetlands is a unique opportunity that has been brought into fruition by local artist and teens teacher, Ashlee Jedrzejak.

The classes will focus on the calming and relaxing aura of the wetlands, and how to use art as a mindfulness activity. Classes will focus on students slowing down and really enjoying the creative process.

Art is a harmony parallel with nature. – Paul Cezanne

Our teachers will encourage students to use the Wetlands vibrant ecosystem as a source of inspiration. They will then assist in turning this inspiration into a resolved piece of art. Students will experiment with a range of mediums and materials, giving them the opportunity to express themselves in many different forms.

As a haven for wildlife (and people), the wetlands are a vibrant ecosystem bursting with life. This thriving wildlife sanctuary allows the community to get close to nature and we at Art Mania Studio cannot wait to get our senses delighted by all the beauty the exploration of this special place will offer. 

 

KIDS ART SCHOOL AT HUNTER WETLANDS

8-WEEK BLOCK / SATURDAY starts 15 FEBRUARY / 9 – 10:30AM

The cost for the entire eight weeks is $265. Creative Kids vouchers are also redeemable through Art Mania Studio, and can be used to subsidise costs.