Balnacra Arts by Vicky Stonebridge

logic, chaos and creativity.


teaching my Sketchbook development and painting Art course today.  Students worked on own themes and ideas development, but i also made them get mucky and experimental with creating textures. Here’s some I did.

Whats is the point of that you may ask? Well art requires experimentation, and play, the creative parts of our brains need stimulating by ‘doing’, all the theory in the world won’t make you a good artist. The trick is to balance technical skills, with intuitive play, muscle memory and learning to switch off the rational grown up judgmental bit of the brain.  These can be pretty abstract concepts to get across to adults, practical adults who have raised families, problem solved and been pragmantic all their adult lives. Children need no explanations as to why to muck about and try stuff, they just do. We seem to get this taken away from us as grown ups.
Part of my job is to understand & respect this, while encouraging folks to start doing things differently, to experiment, to play, to start looking at things differently to analyse the visual work, but not their own actions so much. The frequent cry is ” I am out of my comfort zone ! “. I don’t want to terrify people though, so it is a fine balance!


But I am happy for traditional approaches too ! Love spring flowers, love the way nature explodes at this time of year, Love the colours in fresh paint sets.


These are flowers that a student collected, for creating beautiful delicately observed water colour sketches.


this lichen covered apple twig was in a tall thin cylindrical vase. I loved the distortion and reflections.


Another great thing about these classes, is the social element, the home baking and the duck eggs that one student kindly brings in. I swopped this time for some sour dough. Little things but to me they mean so much, instead of popping to tescos for plastic packed consumer rubbish.

After class I popped down to the build project at the Smithy, part of my part-time community post is chronicling this construction. you can follow it HERE.


the roof had gone onto one building today, i loved the lines and ribbing effect, it felt to me like being inside some benign timber whale. Another basic timeless life experience, the smell of freshly cut timber, and the achievement , hopes and potential all stored in a community building.


a small piece of pine had fallen from an adjacent tree before the roof was closed in. It sat alone on the cement foundation bathed in a pool of sunlight, fresh pine needles and cone, in a pine building, like a self appointed votive offering laying under the flooring to come. sealing the deal between living trees and the buildings we make out of them.

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This entry was posted on May 4, 2012 by in Blog, Daily Photo and tagged , .
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