Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mixed Media Class at MCAD

Last week I was involved with a class at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art & Design) called "Mixed Media". The class was one of their art educator offerings that they have every summer. It was taught by an artist named Helen Stringfellow.
I must say the class was great fun. There were only ten students, which is a nice number of people to work with. Students came from Germany (2), Canada, Oregon, North Dakota, as well as in and around the metro area (5).
We all were to come to the week long class prepared with a theme or topic we would be working with all week. My theme was owls, mostly because I have a ton of imagery ready from using owls all school year as my main topic or subject.
Each day we had a new assignment or technique we learned in the morning and we had time to work on our personal take or use for that technique in the afternoon. We made rubbings on the first day, just like in elementary school, with a variety of textures, mediums and papers. We then made a large collage using the rubbings as elements and a journey as a jumping point. (see large greenish blue rectangle on the left made using a large sheet of heavy weight Canson, a variety of rubbings using tracing paper, butcher paper, newspaper, Sennelier oil pastels, Golden liquid acrylic ) The resulting work is very abstract, which is unusual for me, but the activity was fun and it really got the class rolling.
The next day we learned about transfers. We used Citra-solv, an organic, smelly, oily, orange-based solvent (can you tell I didn't like it?), Chartpak blender pens, packing tape, and gel medium both to make a "skin" and to transfer an image. All of the above list are methods of making transfers from toner based photocopies. Although the packing tape will turn any image into a sticker-like sheet that can be glued down. My most successful transfers came from using the marker and from gel medium, as a transfer method, not a "skin". But, it was fun to try so many ways of getting a transfer and seeing the different effects and results. Everyone had mixed results and ways they preferred to transfer their images onto their work. See the top book in center image, made using both cream and black Stonehenge paper and a series of marker transfers.
The next day we talked about printing. Carving simple stamps from easy-cut, using a kneaded eraser to make a stamp, self stick cork or foam, simple screen prints, and stencil printing.
On the following day we talked about books (my favorite) and started to think about moving our work more into 3-D. We also talked about fibers and using the printing and other transfers on fabric rather than paper. The bottom book in the center image was made using Stonehenge paper, Golden liquid acrylics, transfers using marker, block prints using Golden open acrylics as ink, and my own paste paper cover. Final image was my final project for the week made using gel medium to transfer the owl image, Golden liquid acrylics, and Arches watercolor - sign at store said 740 lbs - it is very heavy, and wire to hang images out from wall.
It was a great class. It is always great as a teacher to become the student again and spend some time trying new things and making artwork. Now if I could only figure out how to get my images placed into my blog as the text goes along rather than all at once, or post info with the images. Oh well, I never said I was an amazing blogger.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful work, Suzanne. I wish I could find and do classes such as this. I surely need to expand my horizons.