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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.

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…

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