Two weeks ago an interesting class took place in Studio B. The Marine Discovery Center held a 3-day seminar entitled "Environmental Interpretation". Amongst the many things discussed and experienced were guided walking tours of the Indian River Lagoon Preserve, live animal presentations, and a boat trip.
In our efforts to marry environmental and art education, Chad Truxall and Charity Jackson
from MDC had asked AWI to teach the final segment of the workshop. Holly Esch and Ruth Squitieri joined forces and introduced the 15 students to drawing from nature while using watercolors made from local, natural pigments.
The main objective was to show the students how to design and create a display for environmental studies, such as informative posters or large displays about certain species and the natural environment.
Can you believe this drawing was made by a novice?
And colored with homemade paint (coffee grounds!)???
Looks like too much fun, right?
The students were introduced to making small layout studies to organize the elements of text and drawing. Most of them had never done any art, but the results were nothing short of amazing.
Ruth explained how to lead the viewer through a painting, how to juxtapose art with words, and how to finish it all off with elegant framing and drop shadow.
Holly had prepared natural watercolor pigments, such as greens made from spinach and kale, yellows from onions, and spectacular pinks from prickly pear. She then guided the students to make a deep rich brown from coffee grounds.
Charity from MDC had brought a lot of specimen that the students could take to their tables to study and draw. Among them were different nuts that wash up on the beach, seedpods from land and ocean, twigs and leaves, and interesting shells. The students learned about design, art, presentation and making your own (environmentally friendly) colors. Many of them displayed an interest in further developing their artistic talents by taking a class or workshop at AWI.
Art and nature will always work hand in hand. We depict our surroundings in our paintings, and interpret nature with our artwork, be it with a landscape painting, drawing our pets, or simply by using paints, many of which are derived from natural elements.
Make it a point to visit the Marine Discovery Center some time! The volunteers there are always eager to talk to you, and the displays are fantastic! It might spark some new creative ideas in you, or start a new relationship with our neighbors!
Keep painting and discovering!
The AWI Blog is written by Ruth Squitieri, Publicity Chair, AWI. You may contact Ruth with comments, questions or suggestions at: email@example.com. Otherwise, feel free to comment to each individual blog post directly.