As we enter winter, it has to be acknowledged that with the cold seeping in, our motivation seeps out.
I am the first to admit that I would much rather spend the winter months in my bed, with the heating on and several really good books.
I thought I’d investigate whether there is any advice about staying motivated in winter. Interestingly, all of the articles that came up were about fitness and staying true to your fitness routine. I have managed to come up with a few though that I think we can relate back to Art Mania and the practice of our art. So here they are and I hope they help.
Make it a goal to just make it to the studio.
I think, a lot of the time, when we aren’t feeling motivated, it’s more to do with the getting out of bed and getting ready. The effort it takes to get ourselves to the studio or wherever else we need to be. Once you’re there however, you are generally glad you made the effort. So why not make that the goal rather than the doing of the class.
If you need a little bit more of a push, try rewarding yourself in some way. Try a series of small rewards that can build up to a big reward. For example, if I go to 3 classes in a row, I can have that dress I really liked. And let’s face it, a chance to justify going shopping … well of course that’s going to motivate most of us to accept the challenge.
Make an agreement with a friend.
Agree to take it in turns to car pool to the studio. That way you have someone to share the hard part and someone else you have made a commitment to. I think we are far more likely to turn up to something, if we are going with another person. And it might just be a perfect way to take a friendly acquaintance into a friendship.
Go for a walk.
The last thing most of us want to do in winter, is have to be out in the cold longer than we have too. But it can’t be denied, the benefits of walking and producing those happy hormones. Why not try parking a little distance away from the studio and getting in a brisk walk before class. It clears out the cobwebs and could even give you some inspiration for your creations. You just never know what you might see.
Give these tips a try and I hope to see you all at the studio. If you get a chance, let me know how useful this has been!
A few weekends ago saw the first of Art Mania’s new and popular pottery workshops.
On Saturday night, a group of energetic and excited women arrived at the studio for “sculpt and sip.”
Apart from myself, all were new to the Art Mania Studio experience.
Sip and Sculpt was an evening of wine, food and hand-building with clay.
Each of us were given a portion of clay and after Kristie demonstrated a few key techniques, we were told to go for it. To make whatever we imagined. The volume was high, the energy sparkling with possibility and the wine flowed. Everyone was keen to give hand-building a go.
There was bonding in collective creativity, the opportunity to have time out from partners and children and a general enjoyment of the night.
Part way through the evening, the group broke for a chance to enjoy one of Fee’s legendary platters. There were four types of cheeses, fruit, salad vegetables, cold meat and crackers. Everyone tucked in and continued to laugh and chat. And of course, more wine was poured and sipped by all.
In the first half of the workshop, we were encouraged to get their pieces completed, ready for stage two, after the break. One of the advantages of the weather warming up, is that pieces will dry faster.
At the studio, we work with two different types of glazes. There are under glazes. These are the glazes used for your base coat. These glazes are matte and after firing, do not change. What you see on your piece, as you glaze, is the colour your piece will stay. The other kind are fantasy glazes. These will change colour after firing. They also contain small chunks of glass and crystal. These little pieces will melt on firing adding a gloss and shimmer to your piece. Under glazes are the only ones that can be applied before the first firing. This first firing is known as a bisque fire.
On Saturday night, the group was offered that chance to apply an under glaze to their pieces. Part of the workshop was this opportunity to under glaze their work and then have it fired. Once the firing is done, a clear glaze will be applied before a second, glaze firing, is done. In around six weeks, the members of the workshop will be able to come in and collect their completed work.
I have to confess, the group was just a little loud for me. I only have a small voice and I’ve learnt over the years that there are times that I am just not going to be able to be heard. This doesn’t bother me, I like the dynamic energy. The joy of people letting go and letting themselves see what will happen, what they can create. I can sit and create, let the conversation wash over me and enjoy the night. They were a great group and I hope everyone comes back and participates in some of our other workshops.
We’ve also just launched our fourth term program. Part of next term are more sip and sculpt workshops. We are also running a high tea!
This is my favourite time of the term. When the current term is about to wind up and the next term is shimmering and sparkling just out of reach.
I love to sit down and workout what I’d like to try in the coming up term. It’s a lot like Christmas for me. So please, check out what’s still left this term, you might be lucky enough to snag a spot. Check out next term’s offerings and find something you’re interested in. Or maybe something that will push you outside your comfort zone.
I hope to see you in class soon!
– Sam Ogilvie
Hi Ladies & Gents…
“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. – Frida
Frida also used to say “There is nothing more precious than laughter”, we took it very seriously and honoured her with a day filled with fun, laughter and good vibes learning about her incredible life and capturing her beauty on canvases.
“I love how we got to paint our own version of Frida. I loved how Dee taught us techniques that made painting much easier to grasp in a very short amount of time. I love the freedom of using vibrant colors. I had such a great time!” – Let’s Paint Frida – Workshop participant.
“I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better.” ― Frida Kahlo
Let us give you some background on Frida Kahlo de Rivera; (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954). She was a Mexican artist who painted many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country’s popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.
Frida’s work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and Indigenous traditions, and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
Out talented painting master – Deanne Newland took us on an adventure to capture Frida in beautiful and colorful portraits using a variety of techniques. What an amazing and fun day of painting it was, just look at diversity of created artworks!
“Loved painting Frida! Art Mania Studio is a wonderful place to go to learn how to express yourself creatively. I thought I wasn’t creative but in coming to classes and workshops at Art Mania, I have learned skills and techniques (and gained a lot of courage) that has helped me access my creativity. It is a joy and a pleasure to have a place where creativity is encouraged and inspired.” Emily Smith – Workshop participant
For more incredible painting adventures in Art Mania Studio check out and book into the following workshops:
- SHADOWS IN THE DISTANCE – MIXED MEDIA CANVAS – SATURDAY – 10 NOV – This workshop is a specialty of Deanne Newland, who teaches each term at our studio, bringing her unique style and teachings to the community. Deanne’s work is inspired by the nature around her life, the textures gained from impasto and her love of acrylic paints.
- VISIONARY VINO – SATURDAY – 3 NOV – Our Visionary Vino gives you best of both worlds. Come & enjoy an afternoon session of painting & getting a bit arty along with some delicious wine to help you wind down on your weekend (or wind up if that may be the case!).
- WATERCOLOUR WORKSHOP – SATURDAY – 3 NOV – This fun workshop is designed for beginners! Experiment & learn about the nature of watercolour & its use. You will learn about colour & basic colour mixing, application of paint, wet in wet/wet in dry techniques, blending colours, isolating sections using a mask, transfer of an image, difference in substrates (papers), use of pen work & more.
- PAINTING WEEKLY CLASSES – FRIDAYS – 19 OCT – 21 DEC – Or sign up for a weekly painting classes and learn to paint with watercolors, acrylics, oils paints and more. Experience the joy of colour and texture, as you work in your chosen medium, painting what you love. Guided by talented artist and teacher Trish Menegazzo. Develop your own style and watch your skill level and confidence grow.
See you in Your Happy Place,
Art Mania Studio
Studio Open Night – Soup & Damper Studio Birthday Bash!
This term we warmed up Wallsend with delicious soups, birthday candles & a cosy fire at our Studio Open Night. Each term Art Mania Studio holds this event to showcase the upcoming array of workshops, block courses & weekly classes available at the studio.
Between 6 & 8:30pm over 50 people got to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere & live art demonstrations. With wine in hand & soup in bellies everyone further tantalised their taste buds with the delectable range of creative opportunities on offer.
A highlight of the evening was the launch of the upcoming July School holidays Art Attack schedule. Face painting demonstrations opened everyone’s eyes to how fun the family face painting workshop will be, & Clay Play, Enchanted Succulent Gardens & Superhero Cartoons were just the tip of the huge range of arty goodness on offer.
A few special folk also left with extra big smiles as they scored the lucky door prizes of some of the beautiful handmade glass art the studio creates. Art Mania Studio couldn’t go past the rainbow cake to celebrate their 10th Birthday which beautifully topped off the night. Fee Madigan, the studio’s director, spoke from the heart, thanking all who came & all who helped. “It truly is a Happy Place, not just for those we welcome through our doors, but for me & the incredible team who make this life of creativity worthwhile.”
This community hub will be opening our doors again in Term 3 for another Studio Open Night, but before that we’re excited about the Rug & a Mug event. Live music, hot soups, hot chai & of course, lots of art.
See you in Your Happy Place,
Art Mania Studio