Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Surrealism Collages

Choosing sessions for art clubs which are self contained in an hour (no storage space!) and are accessible to all abilities and a mixture of ages is not an easy task. I am always determined that after school art club is not just a glorified baby sitting session. I want the children to learn a little bit about art and artists and take home artwork they are proud of. Some people thought introducing Surrealism to children as young as the reception class was over ambitious. I do love a challenge. In the first session I introduced the idea surrealism and Dali without showing them images. The children then used magazine photos to create 'funny people'. I insisted that the more different and mis-matched the heads, torsos and limbs were the better. I was amazed at how rigid even the youngest children can be with their ideas, they are so keen to follow rules once in school that breaking them is incredibly hard, and a bit confusing. This session was designed to release them from those constraints and I think it worked: The following week the children made a dreamscape or an imaginary strange landscape using the same technique as for the strange people. I reminded them about Dali, and showed them some examples of surreal art and a collage I had made. Some of the final pieces are incredible! PS - When I asked a KS1 (reception to year 2) club if anyone had heard of Dali a little scrap of a thing pushed her hand into the air as high as she could with that 'if you don't pick me I'll burst' look, her long and detailed answer (which was correct in it's own way) began like this: "It's a time when people have parties and are happy and light candles..." Clearly the children had been talking about art club during the week. In the second session when I mentioned Dali the whole class chorused: "Dali, not Diwali - Dali!" The loudest, and with the biggest grin, was the little one who had made the mistake.

Friday, 12 August 2011


After dabbling briefly with planking I discovered horsemaning where people pose as if they've had heads chopped off. Here's an original and 2 of mine.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sock Monsters

I make sock monsters for sale but have the most fun with sock monsters at workshops. It takes about 2 hours to make a sock monster for the first time in a group. The basic design uses just one ankle length sock to make a monster with two horns and two arms and legs. Extra materials include cotton thread, a needle, pins (optional), polyester stuffing, buttons for eyes. If you have knee length socks, or longer, you can create a monster with really long limbs. There are all sorts of ways to personalise your monster and modify the design but we'll keep it simple here! Please download the instructions and/or contact me for a workshop.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


I've been having fun playing with a drawing tool in the web - the link is in the blog title, have a go!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Easter Ideas Factory

The children's department of the Diocese of St Albans ran a workshop for leaders of childrens groups on Saturday 12th February at St John's Harpenden from 10am - 2.30pm. The day covered Inspiring Worship, Ideas for Storytelling, Food, Craft - creating an 'Easter Tree', Crosses, Music. It was a great day with loads of crafty ideas for workshops and teaching. Here are photos I took to remember the resources. Please contact me if you want to know more.
2011-02-12 Easter Ideas Factory

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Photography vs drawing take 2

I have completed it! It's quite fun and I have completely given the game away but enjoy, and have a go yourself! And my daughter has done one too...

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Photography vs drawing

Inspired by some images I stumbled upon, I have played around with mixing photography and drawing. Here is my first attempt - what do you think?

Saturday, 29 January 2011


I recently took some of the lifestyles shots for the latest brochure of surPRIZEshop - 'The exclusive golf gifts company'. Here are some of those photos - click on the blog post title to link to the online brochure.