If you go down to Anagach Woods these days, you’re probably been delighted with a dozen wee surprises.
For many children and parents have been hard at work during lockdown, painting rocks to leave hidden among the trees and bushes for youngsters to find. It’s a great distraction for wee ones – they love trying to spot the colourful rocks as they go on their daily walks.
You may also have seen some beautiful fairy doors at the bottom of trees along the most popular paths. One giant tree at the bottom of General Wade’s road has been extravagantly decorated with many doors and painted stones. There’s even a wee haven for dinosaurs!
One of the newest additions is an adder called Angus, who is lurking close to the entrance to the woods along General Wade’s road. His body is made up of lots of wee coloured stones and the organisers hope that soon he might stretch all the way to the fairy tree.
It’s quite a challenge and perhaps some Spey Art Group members would like to help? As you can see from these pictures, bright colourful patterns and pictures are the name of the game. All you need to do is paint some stones and add them to Angus when you go for a walk.
With a name like Angus, how could you resist helping this snake get a little bigger?
M was for masks last night as we took up the challenge of decorating paper masks.
With some inspiration from the Day of the Dead-style sugar skulls, members used paint, pen and collage to make some weird and wonderful creations: Donald Trump even made an appearance.
Angus would like to get them all back to class at some point soon so that he can make a big display to go to the Iona Gallery for the Kingussie Food on Film Festival next year.
This week Angus challenged everyone to pick their favourite media and work from the same source. He chose the Old Spey Bridge at Grantown and provided a number of different views. Some showed the whole bridge, some just a section, while one photo even had ivy obscuring the structure almost entirely.
A busy class took to the task with gusto and there was huge variation in approach. Among the media on the go was pencil, pastel, acrylic, collage – two members even got their lino-cutting tools out. We’re looking forward to seeing how their prints turn out.
In an extra twist, at coffee break time everyone had a wonder round the room to look at other’s work. Then Angus opened up a discussion where people had to say a little bit about an element of someone’s work that they liked and how they thought it could improve their own piece. Despite a bit of embarrassment in having to speak out loud (it was like being back in school), everyone had some inciteful things to say. Many admired the freedom which people brought to their painting, while some wanted to emulate the tight detailed brickwork achieved in other works.
Wednesday’s workshop focused on depicting autumn and its wonderful colours.
Angus showed the group lots of different ways that artists have represented autumn. As well as botanical paintings capturing the minute details of leaves, slodges of colour can be used to represent leaves on trees.Some artists use the leaves themselves to create beautiful collages of animals. The complex designs were astonishing and patience was clearly required to create them.
However, even more patience was needed for the next set of works. Artists cut shapes out of the leaf itself, creating intricate artworks.
And finally, Angus showed everyone an easy way to paint birch trees. Using just a few dabs of white and black paint, he demonstrated how to drag the paint across the paper, creating the look of bark, with black paint used to give the impression of branches. Green and yellow leaves can be dabbed in later.
Armed with a forest of leaves, everyone set off to get stuck in. Collage was popular, with clear pockets helping to press the leaves down onto brightly painted backgrounds. Printing the leaves also created pretty lace-like images, showing the thin veins of the various leaves.