• Art Materials,  Materials & Techniques

    The Art of Mud

    Mud is a versatile and under-rated material, and lets face it there’s a lot of it about.  It has (and still is in some parts of the world) been used for a huge variety of purposes by mankind for millennia, for building, medicinal and beauty purposes, and making pots to name just a few, and of course as a material for making art.   Mud art has lots of advantages, it’s cheap, it gets you outdoors, and it also has an ancient lineage. Some of the very earliest artworks were created with mud – using it not only as a sculptural medium, but also as a pigment, because the colour…

  • Features

    Valuing Art Education

    Throughout my life and my career, I have found that art is often considered a luxury item – something that’s nice to have, and fun to do, but not to be taken seriously, and certainly not to be regarded as important or challenging in any way.  When it comes to the curriculum at school it is generally not considered to be as important as other subjects, and even while studying art at university I found that students of other subjects often considered it an ‘easy’ degree, one that was less rigorous than scientific subjects, and that a day spent in the studio was a day spent  ‘dossing’ about. Yet art…

  • Reviews

    Make a World

    I recently came across this book while browsing around the web.  Apparently, although I’d never come across it before, it’s something of a classic, and was first published in 1972.  It is one of a whole series of similar style books by the author Ed Emberley, all with different themes.  It seems that this book in particular was quite influential, and helped shaped the visual culture of an entire generation of artists and designers. The book covers a vast amount of subject matter in its 32 pages, and 400 illustrations, and the completely visual instructions are well suited to children whose reading skills may not yet be that strong.  The…

  • Freebies,  Projects

    Get your free Doodle Sheets here!

    Inspired by my previous post, I have created a series of 6 doodle sheets that are free to download.  I have produced them at A5 size (though they could be made smaller or larger if you choose) and they can either be printed off and used as they come, or trimmed and laminated to make re-usable doodle sheets, as illustrated here.  If laminated, they should be used with special dry-wipe pens to allow them to be wiped clean.  I also punched a hole in the corner of each sheet and tied them together using a keyring so that I could carry them about more easily. You are free to use…

  • Reviews

    Oodles of Doodles to Make

    >Over the following week, I’m going to follow the theme of Doodles or ‘playful’ drawing. Today, I’m going to do a review of the Doodle Cards produced by Usborne, which I purchased over Christmas. They are part of a wider trend over the last few years which has seen a number of children’s books brought out where you are invited to complete a picture, in fact when I started researching this, I was astonished at how many there are, with new titles coming out all the time.  I bought ‘The Boys’ Doodle Book’ for my son, (there is of course also The Girls’ Doodle Book ) by Andrew Pinder (Buster…

  • Features

    Art & Creativity for Boys

    I feel the need to get on my soapbox again – it doesn’t happen very often, but increasingly, as the mother of 2 boys, I feel the need to defend their right to be creative, though it seems a little ridiculous that I should feel that way.  Over the Christmas holidays, we took a family visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MOSI).  It’s a wonderful free resource, full of steam engines, trains, planes, cars and other bits of technology, and they also have an interactive hands on science gallery specially for kids.  Being the holiday period it was busy, with lots of boys and girls.  While…

  • Projects

    Stained Glass Window Art

    It’s been a while since I posted my last tutorial project for fridge frames, so I thought I would offer up this project for a piece of colourful window art. This is a project which needs a laminator to create. I know not every home will have one of these, though the small basic ones are quite cheap these days, and I actually find them quite useful for a whole host of household purposes, ranging from protecting favourite recipes and knitting patterns, to creating notices and labels, and last but most definitely not least, for creative projects like this one.  My laminator is a Fellowes Saturn A4 model – not…