There’s nothing I love more than seeing my students joy after a day in the studio. I think the word “exploration” sums up my approach to teaching. In my workshops, I provide the materials, the know how, the space and a guided structure which allows you to react, learn and explore for yourself.
My main areas of focus are mixed media, art journaling and bookbinding, which overlap and compliment each other to allow for a wide range of fun and interesting classes. My intuitive collage class, for example, will incorporate mixed media techniques, but also explore some aspects of art journaling. Bookbinding also crosses over with mixed media and gives you the skills to make your own journals from scratch if you choose.
You can read more about my approach below, or click here to check out this year’s Workshop Timetable.
I’ve taught mixed media classes for many years now and I always advertise them as ‘no drawing skills required’. I have met and encouraged so many creative people over the years who are stifled by that hurdle and label themselves as not creative because they don’t pass the ‘does it look like it’s supposed to’ test.
Well the good news is, there are lots of other ways to express yourself and your creativity and that’s what mixed media is so brilliant at doing. The focus is on getting to know materials and looking at colour, balance, design and composition rather than purely observational drawing or painting skills.
If you want imagery, there are stencils, stamps and decoupage to achieve that. Texture and mark making play their part too and building up layers is a forgiving way to work, where there is no such thing as a mistake, just added richness that goes into making your unique work of art.
The pages of an art journal are a private place where you can express yourself fully in words or images (or both) in a way that is totally authentic and is just for you. Of course if you choose to share your journal pages afterwards, that is fine, but if you start with the approach that this is a sacred and private space, where you don’t need to make it pretty or seek approval from anyone else, then you may just surprise yourself with your insights.
I love art journaling and see it as a mix of self expression, therapy, self care and fun, curious playtime. The way I write in my journals has changed as I have reached new levels of acceptance and contentment in my life, though like everyone, I still have anxieties, fears, self doubt and other rubbish to process and work out and that is where my journal becomes my best listener and counsellor.
Bookbinding classes need a structured step by step approach as they are very much about passing on specific skills and knowledge and steps need to be completed in a certain order.
My own knowledge comes from a time I spent studying traditional bookbinding with a retired Master Binder in Newcastle where we were taught in a very practical way, with lots of hands on sessions.
If you fancy having joining me for a class, check out my current workshop timetable or sign up to my newsletter (there’s a link in the sidebar and the footer) to be the first to know about new workshops. You can also join my Facebook Group where you can hook up with others who have been to my classes, or are planning to.