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STAFF SPOTLIGHT: CHERYL

By | Lifestyle

To say that Cheryl’s role at Art Mania is simply admin, is a huge understatement. She is one of the rarely seen, but crucial members of the Art Mania team. It’s Cheryl who does all the fiddly stuff!

In her own words, Cheryl describes her role as: “in administration- training admin staff; back-up if front desk needs manning; creating the flyer; and overseeing the rolls and organising paperwork.”

Cheryl believes in Art Mania’s motto “this is your happy place” and believes that it is possible to see this in action for both our students and staff.

To Cheryl, Art Mania is a warm, caring and supportive place for all. Cheryl is a great example of this. She is always smiling and offering happy and genuine words to both staff and students.

Cheryl has a background in admin and enjoys making organised and efficient admin systems to help with the day to day running of organisations. We were lucky enough to gain her services when her daughter Jen first joined the Art Mania team. Cheryl had retired and was looking for some volunteer work. She decided to come work at Art Mania with her daughter. And even though Jen has moved on, Cheryl has chosen to stay on.

Until recently, Cheryl’s grand-daughter Ellie was also a regular part of the Art Mania family. She took part in our weekly kids class. Cheryl also works with her grand-daughter, helping her collect cans for cash. They have a box set up at the studio, where you can put your cans knowing that they are helping a resourceful girl to make a bit of money.

When asked how she felt about Art Mania’s ethos, she replied: “These are also my values, so I enjoy ‘walking my talk’.”

SCULPT AND SIP NIGHT

By | Art

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

Let’s Paint Frida

By | Art, Lifestyle | No Comments

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:

  • 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,

Love,

Art Mania Studio

Spring Garden

By | Art, Lifestyle

Glass Fusing Spring Garden

What is a garden without soil or water? hmmm… probably a pretty dead one I would imagine!  This project is for those who love a spring garden, but don’t really want to get their hands dirty or have to do any maintenance – yes pretty perfect really!

Fee Madigan, the studio’s creative director has designed a glass project for the absolute beginner!

She was recently asked, ‘Gosh Fee, how much experience do you need to do that, is it hard?’

She loves to see the reaction on people’s faces when she can respond with – “that’s a beginner project!”

The Glass Spring Garden project is completed in a day, then fired and ready to display for all to admire! You will use a variety of glass options to make it all come to life. All students will be guided through the process on how to use glass frit, which is simply crushed glass sprinkled on like table salt.  The frit is made by crushed glass made into a variety of sizes.  For example she uses chunky pieces of frit to make some of the lavender flower clusters and the finer frit was used to create the sky and foreground before planting the green foliage, and the flower garden.

The world of glass has endless possibilities. Come & fall in love with this beautiful art form & make a piece that can be passed down through generations.

Don’t wait up – Bookings for the Glass Fusing Spring Garden available HERE!

Art Mania Studio, always striving to be Your Happy Place.

Open Studio Night, Soup & Damper

By | Art, Lifestyle | No Comments

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,

Love,

Art Mania Studio