Friday, 18 July 2014

A time to enjoy our creative nature; Collagraph Printmaking.

One of the courses run at the hotel is on Collagraph Printmaking. This Art Work Shop is run by Lidia and this blog entry is written by her about one of the recent courses;


When our guest Sandy sent me an email to book an art workshop, I had a mixture of feelings. 

First, I was very enthusiastic, as I always feel when it comes to sharing artistic techniques, and painting with others. I love that explosion of creativity, those "unspoken" conversations that take place, with our hands, our imagination. Then, I felt I had to compromise between the spontaneity I like to work with and the structured process of a lesson on a printmaking technique. 

Eventually I got carried away with my initial enthusiasm and started organizing the workshop full of energy; and the 3 hours workshop with Sandy was more than inspiring! it was full of patience, love for all beings and the Asturian land, and full of wonder. 

Do you know the "white paper" fear we all have somehow when we start to paint something, to create something?; 

and how about the fear, at least my fear, to attend an art class full of rules, with a teacher telling you what to do, what is a good result and a bad result?

Well, my most sincere intention in my workshops, is to change that!, to share some
"Magic" with

Collagraph Printmaking.
And that magic happened! and you will discover how..

..A challenge! Sandy was thinking a lot before the workshop, she had some clear ideas on what she wanted to do, and came with a challenge: let's recreate this photo! and I thought, wow!! this will be difficult!.

Collagraph Printmaking technique consists in gluing different materials, organic, recycled materials with different textures into a cardboard model. Materials and shapes will be revealed in a different way, they will absorb the ink and retain it differently, leaving a darker or clearer colour print.  

So with some observation on results everyone can make an idea about what is going to happen, how the print is going to emerge; but for the first time, it is quite a difficult task. 

Usually, we start printing some already made designs, and try creating a simple and purely experimental model. But this time it was different, we had a picture, so we had an expectation on the result,..a real challenge! A cow in the mountain! :)

In a 3 hours workshop, Sandy had time to carefully and slowly design her model with some help, but you know a "teacher" cannot say everything from the beginning, so some little mistakes and big realizations happened, moments to learn and discover the magic of this technique that is like a mirror, like a specular image. The result is always a joyful and creative surprise!

Magic happened! we used a few old pieces of cardboard, some oregano, a piece of old sandpaper (first time I've ever thought of using it!), glue and coffee.  

We created the 5 layers that the landscape of the photograph had, and added volume to the cow with an extra one!..

And after prinking 2 old designs of my own, to get familiar with the printing process, Sandy ended up with 3 beautiful and different versions of her cow in "El Sueve"! (the mountain range that rests behind the hotel)

More information on this Art Workshop can be found here

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.