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Art Archives - Art Mania Studio

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!

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.

HOW DOES LOVE SHAPE YOU?

By | Art

What is love?

Can it be defined?

How does it shape us, create us and steer us?

If we look at love too closely it can sometimes feel like it will disappear, so we keep it just in the corners of our vision and we feel safe knowing it still exists in its shapeshifting way.

When we think it’s gone, we can crumble into a heap and question the very fabric of existence. 

If we brave looking into the heart of the flame of love it can be so overwhelming that it threatens to tumble us in its crashing waves and drown us in its intensity.

Quite simply, love makes the world go round.

It fuels our desires, it propels our passions and it makes us stand up for what we believe in.

Gary Chapman used his many years as a counsellor to communicate to over 11 million people in his book The Five Love Languages, that we all connect to one or more of these love languages. Understanding yours and others can help to improve relationships with partners, family members and friends.

When I took the love language quiz I was interested to find that Acts of Service, Quality Time and Physical Touch all ranked as equal first, with Words of Affirmation a close second. Funnily enough Receiving Gifts was a low scoring last. It made me reflect on Christmas time and the gift giving frenzy that whips us up into consumerist hogs. I never wanted to buy into it, theoretically or physically.

I would always make presents. I’d spend hours crafting something with my hands for the special people in my life and it made me feel good. Now I recognise that it tapped into all 3 of my top love languages.

Acts of Service –
I took the time to create something special for someone.

Quality Time –
that time was focused, with my energy invested into the creation.

Physical Touch –
By creating things with my hands I was imbuing my love and energy into the piece.

It’s nice when something that you have always done finds a deeper space of understanding.

The upcoming workshop, Introduction to the Pottery Wheel (timed for Valentines Day) feels close to my heart. Creating with clay tickles my love languages and with the endless artistic avenues that pottery provides, it finds its way into most people‘s hearts and languages. Valentine’s Day can feel very Americanised and consumerism driven, however if we take out the ‘should’ and come back to the essence of what this day is about, it’s all about love, and love is a natural state and that feels right.

How do you express love? 

How do the people in your life receive love?

Can you make this Valentines, a day to find that out and communicate in a new way?

For those that love to express through creativity, through acts of service, quality time or physical touch, check out the pottery workshop, it could be a great occasion to share with someone you love or a great way to make something special for that special someone.

Remember:

Love is like water.

You can fall in it,

You can drown in it,

But, you can’t live without it.

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member

5 REASONS WHY ART GIVES TEENS THE LIFE SKILLS THEY NEED

By | Art

We all know that being creative has a certain essence about it that makes us feel good, right?

And, by saying ‘being creative’ it doesn’t mean creating a masterpiece on a canvas that is intended for an art gallery. 

So why does it feel good and seem to affect so many other areas of life?

Creativity is a human trait. We are a species born to create. From meals, to buildings, to babies, to packing a lunch box. Creativity must be fostered, it needs encouragement and room to grow whilst still having limitations to exist within. 

For young people that have a higher than average exposure to creating art and the media for creating it, possess qualities that many others do not have. Exposure to art, ripples out to many other areas of learning and life. 

1. EXPRESS YOURSELF

As children develop, they move from the outward stage of exploration and finding identity to one of social integration and figuring out where they fit in the world. Many experience an internalisation of their true expression as the desire to ‘fit in’ and ‘be normal’ in this hyper-stimulated world dulls their externalisation of self. By expressing oneself on a physical medium, teens find a voice that may otherwise have never been accessed. Language is only one way ideas can be expressed, all youth need to build skills in other avenues to convey what they may be struggling to express in words.

 

2. FINDING SELF CONTROL

We’ve all had moments where we feel like life is out of control. For teens this can be a constant state and as they try to harness control of their life. Artistic engagement stimulates the mind and when they create something, they can call it their own. Overcoming problems in other areas of life becomes easier as they regain the sense of self-determination creating something physical.

 

3. PROGRESS IS POSSIBLE

When we see our improvement as we refine a skill, the sense of achievement is tangible. Youth increase in confidence when their talents begin to improve, such as with drawing, building, painting and designing. When teens see progress and change in something they have persisted at, it offers a reflection, illustrating that all things can get better with time and effort.

4. INSTANT V’S DELAYED GRATIFICATION

It can be hard when we’re young to truly grasp the notion of doing something now for later benefit. Most Teens want instant gratification and an instant result that is tangible. Art offers both. Creating something positive and worthwhile is an instant and tangible result. Being able to look at a beautiful creation over time, allows them to reflect on how they were feeling when they created it. They can see how the passage of time changes things, they also see their own capacity to create something real and lasting which adds to their sense of self.

5. SKILLS FOR LIFE

Every step we take teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. When our journey is guided by the freedom and boundaries art allows it offers a platform to develop skills that will be applicable to every area of life. The process of creating art is a healthy way to develop skills in making choices and solving problems, something we are all faced with each and every day. From a simple choice of which colour to use, where to draw a line, what size to make something, each choice makes something more their own. Art goes beyond, as through the process of creation, until that point, it was only in the imagination. They have the capacity to bring something to life that previously didn’t exist.    

 

Art Mania Studio’s Teens After School Development Program fosters not only artistic skills in the group, it also offers social, communicative and self-expression skills that will equip them for life.

 

WE HAVE A COUPLE OF SPOTS LEFT FOR OUR TERM 1 PROGRAM – for more details click here

 

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member