I am excited to be teaching an entirely new group of students today. I was asked by one of my educators from graduate school to come in and teach a watercolor demo this morning to a group of artists and teachers at Express Yourself. Then later this afternoon I will be introducing an artist trading card workshop to a group of 30 (students and educators combined). When I was in graduate school one of the classes in our curriculum was held at Express Yourself where we learned how to incorporate all different modalities of learning with all different types of learners.
"Express Yourself immerses young people into the creative world of music, dance, and visual arts and empowers them with life-changing results. Express Yourself celebrates cultural diversity and collaboration with isolated youth from 17 Department of Mental Health residential and inpatient facilities who form their own large community" (taken from the express yourself website).
In preparation for today's workshop, I have covered blank cards with wax, students will be given etching tools (cautiously) and oil pastels to use freely on their cards. There will also be a wide variety of other art supplies and collage materials and students can choose any medium of art that appeals to them. Because I will be teaching a diverse group of students with all levels of art experience, I will have to play it by ear.
What is so amazing to me is that when I first taught the ATC lesson plan in graduate school I was able to use the small cards as my own personal experiment, learning how to manage a new medium (painting with wax) and it made my learning process much more comfortable and less intimidating. I was willing to paint human form and figures uninhibited, this was a first! As a result, I am now using encaustics in my newest body of work and I have received great successes.
Yesterday I heard I was accepted into the 66th Annual Members Prize Show at the Cambridge Art Association and last week I received the 2nd place award at the Swampscott Arts Association; both shows I had submitted small encaustic works made with a small card design combined with collage elements in presentation. I used a shadow box frame, I mounted the card on foam core, floated it on watercolor paper, and used my chop stamp underneath the card.
Sample of an early encaustic work, collage elements complete the presentation:
The artist trading cards I made initially, combined with my willingness to try something new, led my art in an entirely new direction. My hope is I will be able to inspire and share this creative process with the students I have today as well as expose them to a wide variety of art mediums in a non-intimidating way.