Tuesday, May 27, 2014

North Shore Art Teachers Association Needle Felting Workshop

As an art teacher, it is such a compliment to be invited to present a workshop to other art teachers. That is the compliment I was given a few weeks ago when I presented a needle felting workshop at the North Shore Art Teachers Association.

I realized a few things during this workshop. One is that I make strange shapes with my mouth when I talk (or maybe its just that the camera always caught me forming a vowel sound). Another is that art teachers are amazing art students. Even though they came to the meeting tired after a long day of teaching, they all left feeling relaxed and happy and with tools, knowledge and materials to make more felt creations on their own.

Here are some images from the workshop. And at the very end of this post, you can find the pdf of the handout all the teachers received. This handout is packed full with historical context, online resources, shopping guides, tips and tricks, and step-by-step photos of projects. Happy felting!

Here you can see the selection of sample needle felted animals I brought along.   

There's one of those weird mouth shapes I mentioned. And a good image of my favorite beginner book Wool Pets.  


These are some of the teachers in the process of felting...

And some happy faces and projects by the end of the workshop...

And, as promised, you can download your own pdf of the informational handout here:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Needle Felted Wool Critters

In gearing up for a workshop I made lots of sample projects. Each one took a few hours and all were "first time ever" attempts. Here they are:

Little lamb... this one was one of the easier forms to work with.

Sleeping kitty... close up you would see some of the careful sculpting and musculature.

The unicorn may be my favorite.

This one had a mind of its own... I had not started out making a bird but the form appeared.

Tried my hand at some embroidery effects, but all with wool not embroidery floss.

The Cadbury bunny from last month's workshop joins the menagerie.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

April Art Journal Exchange: Paint, Texture & Aquatic Inspiration

I'm really glad I joined in on the art journal exchange for 2014. At the very least it forces me to do SOMETHING creative each month, even if it is just this two-page spread. In April's entry, the owner of the art journal made her own book using painted papers. I chose two pages that spoke to me is some way and added more paint, used some texture tools (like paint scrapers and bath poofs -- yes, I LOVE using poofs to get texture), envisioned sea creatures, made the drawings, and voila --- a work of art!

"Sea Creature" Mixed Media on paper, © Margaurita Spear, April 2014, Private Collection: Beth Allums

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rotational Motif #10 "Chakra Energy"

Rotational Motif #10 "Chakra Energy"  © Margaurita Spear, May 2014
The latest in the rotational series of paper quilled works was created as a gift for a woman housing a beautiful healing spirit. The colors and even the central imagery were inspired by the seven chakra points: root at the bottom and working upward to sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown. The same colors circle the outer edge and appear in the border. The circle around the central design is golden yellow representing healing energy/light.

As with previous pieces, this piece incorporates repetition, pattern, and symmetry. It is only 5 1/2" square, but because of the intricacy inherent in its design still took almost 30 hours to complete.