Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Frieda Oxenham and Sketchbook Techniques

My attempt, using collage, stencils, stamps, paint and baby wipes

At the end of November, I had a special birthday treat a couple of days after my birthday.  Frieda Oxenham came to share some of her art journaling techniques for creating backgrounds with my Creative Sketchbooks City and Guilds Group.  
Student work
Frieda doesn't teach often at the moment, so we were especially honoured that she came and shared so much of her work with the Group.  Although I was organising the day, I managed to have a go at some of the techniques too, covering myself and the worktop in lots of paint, gesso and used baby wipes.  In fact, I don't think I've ever used so many baby wipes since we had three kids in nappies!
Frieda (bottom right) explaining her techniques

We added lots of paint and wiped most of it off using stencils.  We used stamps and print blocks on spare paper.  Precious scraps got glued into place and then covered in paint.
Student Work

Frieda showed us her most recent work in her art journal and talked us through the layers of techniques in great detail.  Two things I came away with as useful comments were:

  1. Don't believe an artist when they say they 'just throw things on a paper without thinking about the layout'.  What they mean is 'through years of experience, I can just place things in the right place by instinct rather than conscious thought'
  2. Don't stop after one or two layers.  It adds to the richness of the piece if there are many layers.  Sometimes Frieda has up to 20 layers of paint on a page.
Student Work

The day went incredibly fast and the students all worked so hard.  I know my head was buzzing by the end with some many possibilities and I have been creating even more mess on my worktop ever since, putting layers of paint on to several sketchbooks and loose pages all at once.
Student Work
You can see much more of Frieda's amazing work on her blog, friedaquilter.blogspot.co.uk

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