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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

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.

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!

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.

Top 5 points why one should do a pottery course with Art Mania Studio!

By | Art, Lifestyle

Top 5 points why one should do a pottery course with Art Mania Studio!

 

Something that comes from the earth, tactile, resulting in engaging in the creative brain which can be described as relaxing and therapeutic at the same time! When we work with clay, through hand-building or spinning clay on a wheel, our mind and body are in a state of synergy while being focused on the tactile process: the touch and the feel of soft clay between our fingers. 

The perfect mindfulness process to creating a door for your outside worries to fall away.

 

1. An outlet for ‘Self’ 

We all need an out from time to time! Too often than not, everyday life gets in the way of allowing us regular weekly time out to truly do something for ones’ self! There is a plethora of documented statistics, evidence based which demonstrate the importance for both physical and mental wellbeing, by engaging the creative brain. Pottery offers you an outlet for self!

2. The Brain’s Pleasure Centre

The brain produces many natural chemicals, dopamine is just one.  Dopamine affects your emotions, movements and your sensations of pleasure and pain. When our sensors kick in with the tactile processes or  hand-building with clay or working on a pottery wheel… BINGO! The brains receptors kick in and you start to feel good, hence the term ‘Pleasure Centre’!

3. Improve focus

When the pleasure centre kicks in while working with clay or on a Pottery wheel, you will notice improvements in areas including: flow and spontaneity, reduction in grief related thoughts; assists with self-identification and self-expression while also bolstering confidence and self-esteem. Being able to fully focus with the combination of hand and brain engagement assist the mind in coping with everyday life.

4. Reduces stress

 Our hands can be the answer to the reduction in stress, depression and anxiety! The importance of touch opens the flood gates to the pleasure centre.  Think about it…! Our hands can be the perfect outlet for creativity and focus; therefore outside distractions and influences are reduced to allow you time for ‘self’.

5. Helps reduce pain and discomfort

The movement of working with clay and creating on the pottery wheel is gentle yet strengthening to the hands, wrists, and arms. This can be beneficial to those prone to arthritis in the hands, as it promotes joint movement and dexterity. It’s common knowledge ‘stress’ can lead to feeling sensations of pain and discomfort. Creative hobbies – pottery is known for reducing stress and boosting self-esteem! It’s the natural chemical released in the brain which alleviates pain receptors while working with clay!

So tap into your pleasure centre, and get your clay on at Art Mania Studio’s fantastic welcoming studio space!

UPCOMING POTTERY CLASSES

Why enrol your child at Art Mania?

By | Art, Lifestyle

Creative Kids Voucher

Do you remember the look of pride and joy in your child’s eyes when you put their first piece of artwork onto the fridge? Remember the sounds of excitement and enthusiasm as texta’s or pencils scattered across the kitchen table as they decided to start their next creative project?

Recapture that excitement and pride by taking advantage of the $100 Creative Kids vouchers! Kids are taken on the most amazing journey over a term here at Art Mania Studio, they visibly blossom as their skills improve and their perspective on what’s possible widens.

Creativity is a foundational key to life. Kids shine and the ripple effect can be seen across every area of their life.

Art Mania Studio offers their After School Development Program for kids (age 5-12) and teens (age 13-18), to make sure that every child who wants to get creative, can! Wednesdays and Thursdays 4-5:30pm for 10 weeks of term is when it’s on! Weekdays no good for your family? The Krafty Kids Sat morning class also runs for the 10 weeks of term and gives an equal opportunity for growth and creative expression. These classes are a fantastic way for your child to delve into the creative world, and explore a variety of methods and techniques each week.

As parents and caregivers, there are a million different activities you can register your child for. So why should you choose to enrol your child at Art Mania?

  • Creativity is for every child (and adult!). It isn’t about having a special inclination towards being artistic; it’s not about how talented you are; it’s not even about whether or not you like your own work. Skills and techniques can be learned (just like riding a bike!), under the guidance of our wonderful tutors. Being creative has its own benefits – benefits that are just as important as those your child might get from team sports or similar.
  • Did you know that encouraging creativity in children encourages concentration, critical thinking and problem solving? Our classes engage participants in receiving and giving feedback – an essential social skill. Also, being creative helps your child learn to express themselves in different ways – this is a particular benefit for teens and preteens!

One thing that is so important is helping your child find their niche in life. The way of the world is changing and learning to use different parts of the brain will help your child in managing the demands of living in contemporary society and finding creative solutions to what life throws at them.

Our after school and weekend programs at Art Mania are a safe, fun space for your child or teen to really experience the world of art. They’ll explore different techniques and artists each week, with practical experience at the heart of each session.

Every child deserves the gift of creativity and expression.

APPLY FOR A CREATIVE KIDS VOUCHER

AVAILABLE KIDS & TEEN CLASSES

Creative Kids Voucher

By | Art, Lifestyle

Creative Kids Voucher

We’ve got some fantastic news – we are now a registered provider of the NSW Government’s Creative Kids rebate offers! These rebates give you $100 towards your school-aged child participating in our awesome kid’s art programs!

Parents and Carers can apply for a Creative Kids voucher through their MyServiceNSW account (you will need to log in or register) link here. You get one voucher worth $100 per school-aged child, and there’s no need to print the voucher after you have applied for it – all we need is the voucher number, expiry date, and your child’s name and date of birth.

From there, your child will be ready to enter an amazing world of creativity!

What do our Kid’s Art Programs offer? Your child will have the opportunity to express themselves in new and exciting ways, experiment with a whole smorgasbord of art mediums, but most of all, have FUN! To date we’ve experimented with painting, drawing, clay work, basket weaving – students have even created selfies – self-portraits away from the screens!

Kids need regular opportunities to work out their creative intelligence: it gives them a chance to make choices, express themselves, be creative (applying techniques in new and unusual ways), and to gain confidence in the process of creativity, rather than focusing on the finished product. These things are so important for kids of all ages, so that they can really hone not only their sense of self but also their ability to make choices. This program also helps kids who may not excel in traditional after school activities such as sport: we give them a chance to find something they can excel at, and spark a lifelong passion for creativity.

We’re running special Creative Kids classes for term 2, for new participants. If your child is already enrolled in our exciting kid’s art program, they can continue in their regular time slot. For new participants, we are opening two special classes for you to choose from.

Wednesday afternoons, 4pm – 5:30pm (two classes: one for primary and one for high school)

Saturday mornings, 10am – 11:30am (one class, with all ages learning together)

Both of these classes run for ten weeks, and the total cost is $300. For that, your child receives expert tuition, all gear required, new friends, time to explore, the chance to learn creative skills and the chance to explore art theory (this is always incorporated into practical and fun activities!).

With your voucher, you will get all this for $200! Awesome!

APPLY FOR A CREATIVE KIDS VOUCHER

AVAILABLE KIDS & TEEN CLASSES

Mosaics & Bling

By | Art, Lifestyle

Mosaics & Bling

Mosaics is an ancient art form that dates back to 3000 B.C. and beyond – yet mosaics are still just a popular, if not more so, in the creative arts arena today.

As a lover of texture, colour and bling, Art Mania Studio has so many options to take this art form further than where we’ve gone before with Mosaics…

Does the word Mosaics make you think of chopped up tiles?

Yes, most of us do.

It is only when we are exposed to the many creative options available in the world of mosaics, it then tweaks interest.  For many of us, we don’t feel we are creative or artistic in any way, however this is merely a confidence barrier. Most art or creative options are ‘learned techniques’, similar to that of learning to drive a car, or cooking!  Yes some of us are gifted and have the vision that makes it somewhat easier, however with instruction it is achievable for anyone to embark on the creative journey.

So, as we embark on our latest mosaic course, tiles are certainly one of the first things we look at, however it doesn’t end there! We call this class ‘Mosaics and Bling’ purely because we use so many different options to make our mosaic art work come to life, creating that WOW factor.

How good does it feel when you make something you love?

What does it do for you, the individual? A sense of pride and achievement!

Once the initial hurdle of making your first project has been  completed, the urge to move onto the next challenge is fueled by the self-satisfying feeling being creative offers. Taking a chance on the unknown and not only doing well, but making something beautiful, gets the happy endorphins kicking in and there is no stopping you! The way you look at everything changes…– ‘wow, I could mosaic that’… and that is really how it all begins.

A favourite reference material is a book by Tracy Graiver Bell called ‘Crazy Mosaics’, which transforms shattered treasures into inspired creations. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however it demonstrates a number of options in the mosaic arena that really inspire.  I especially like the recycled options, given the disposable world we live in today. The thing about most creative adventures is they are continually evolving, coming in and out of vogue, and the next new extension of how you can push the traditional or contemporary boundaries is what makes it exciting!

I’ve been teaching mosaics for over 20 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how addictive the creative endorphins are!

So, tiles are generally first on the agenda for newbies, however in our studio there are many completed mosaics to offer inspiration.  Throughout the course we look at beautiful coloured stained glass inclusions, recycled jewellery, mirror, crockery, fused glass petals and leaves, buttons and other blingy bits to add spark and a point of interest into the artwork.

We also look at different options for project bases, metal shovels, totem poles, types of woods and how to prepare them, grouting options and sealing. We can continue down the rabbit hole and explore different techniques, such as micro-mosaics and using a huge range of resources to bring texture, colour and life to just about anything you can think of.

Mosaics may be an ancient art form, but here at Art Mania Studio we give it a new lease on life, with lots of fun, laughter and imagination along the way.

AVAILABLE MOSAICS CLASSES

The Art Of Team Building

By | Art, Corporate, Lifestyle

Top 5 reasons why art is going to make your workplace better.

We spend a lot of our lives at work and often we are too busy to really get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Rarely do we have time to catch up on a social level with management or people on the other side of the office, or in different departments and teams may be separate due to their various work duties.

Employees and managers can feel distant, and without a satisfying, cohesive working environment, morale can soon dip low. However, the solution is easy! Team building days can save the day! Working together as a colleagues, as equals, as a team, breaks down barriers and can set the foundation for trusting relationships. The better people know each other, the better they can deal with problems, and the likelier they are to support each other during tough or trying times.

So, where does art come into the equation, and why should you use art in your team building event?

Enjoyment

Laughter is the best medicine. When we laugh, have fun and feel enjoyment in what we are doing, it releases hormones in our body that have long term benefits to our overall well being, as well as having the immediate effect of relaxation, which reduces stress. The feeling of enjoyment raises the energy of people and allows them to connect to others more readily.

Interpersonal Skills

Working together to create art requires communication skills to be utilised. What colours does everyone like, how do you decide on which ones to choose, who will do what as you create your piece? Building the interpersonal skills between team members in a fun and non-threatening environment helps them to develop their ability to communicate in new ways.

Diplomacy

Negotiation is key in workplace relations and just as important when working towards shared goals. As the team must work together to design and generate a shared creation they will sharpen those skills and take them back to your organisation.

Strategy and problem solving

Planning is part of creating as much as it is part of productivity. The team will need to develop a strategy to reach your shared goal, which is exactly what is needed in a workplace too. Strategic thinking and planning enables people to contribute effectively at work.

Competition (the good kind)

Friendly competition can be a great motivator to boost people to work and try harder. Why not create some healthy rivalry over the day? Perhaps create a competition for the best artwork to be placed in the company’s foyer or on the company’s Christmas card? Winning as a team gives more of your staff the opportunity to share in the esteem, so why not choose a team design!

The artwork created can be a great reminder of the fun had and camaraderie created. Displaying it at your workplace continues to encourage that sense of team building they experienced on the day.

Art and team building go hand in hand, so get your troop together and add some colour into your world with creativity.

AVAILABLE CORPORATE WORKSHOPS – Let us help you to improve the well being in your workplace through our variety of creative approaches.

  • Glass Fusing Corporate Package – Up to 6 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $300.00

    or 4 payments of $75.00 with Afterpay

  • Glass Fusing Corporate Package – Up to 12 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $600.00

    or 4 payments of $150.00 with Afterpay

  • Alcohol Inks Corporate Package – Up to 12 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $600.00

    or 4 payments of $150.00 with Afterpay

  • Alcohol Inks Corporate Package – Up to 6 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $300.00

    or 4 payments of $75.00 with Afterpay

Life is more than Black & White – Art & Wellbeing.

By | Art, Lifestyle

A moving testimonial from one of our students at Art Mania Studio. This is Your Happy Place because art is a pathway to living life with wellbeing.

“I learned the basics of charcoals early 2018.

I was in hospital at the time. My mental health was at crisis point. I was trapped in my head and it wasn’t a nice place to be trapped.

Fee took the time one Saturday to sit with me and take me through how to use the charcoal, smudging, getting light and dark tones. I was instantly swallowed up into this world of black and white, and everywhere I looked I saw potential subjects to interpret with my charcoals.

Charcoals became a filter through which I started to see the world. It sounds odd but learning how to use this medium helped me so much with beginning to interact a little more. It’s almost like because I was looking at things to see if I could draw them, it became a less stressful to go outside and to engage with people. It was kind of like engaging not as myself – but as a curious visitor who was seeing the world for the first time.

Learning charcoals played a key part in my ongoing recovery, because it’s helped me to interact and engage again. It helped set me free from being trapped in my mind. And being in that charcoal world of black and white and the shades in between reduces the visual clutter that triggers my anxiety. Charcoals helped simplify my interpretation of the world, and encouraged me to look at smaller details rather than being overwhelmed by the bigger picture.

What I particularly like about using charcoals is that it’s so tactile. I love getting my hands dirty, and being able to manipulate the charcoals with my fingers creates more of a connection between myself and what I am drawing.

Since learning those basics with Fee, I’ve done a charcoals workshop at Art Mania, which I loved. I’m looking forward to collecting more skills through Art Mania, because working with charcoals is something that I really want to pursue, so that it can be a resource when I’m struggling with my mental health, and an outlet when sailing is smoother.”

This student wishes to remain anonymous, we are thankful they chose to express what participating in one of our workshops has done for them. 
Art Mania Studio is a community hub that offers a range of art workshops, classes & block courses, plus a lot of love.
Come in & find out for yourself today what a little bit of art & love could do for your world.