Workshop with Georgia Mansur – Day 1
In the summer of 2013 I went to Suffolk to do a workshop with Georgia Mansur. I didn’t know much about her, but my artist friend, Mita Higton was organising a workshop for Georgia and I thought it would be good fun to have a weekend of creative time with fellow artists.
I wasn’t wrong! Here’s what I wrote about Georgia’s workshop. (There was so much amazing material I couldn’t get it all into one post.)
How I got on on the workshop with Georgia Mansur
I’ve just finished day one of Georgia Mansur‘s Seductive Surfaces workshop and my brain is buzzing! Georgia has so much knowledge to share and so many techniques to teach, I found myself making a list of new materials to buy, and my head so full of new ideas I don’t know where to start.
I intended to take lots of photographs, but I’m afraid I was so busy having fun with new materials that I kept forgetting to take pictures. So there are a few, but perhaps not as many as there could have been.
The day kicked off with a discussion about creativity. Georgia shared her tips for loosening up and building creativity. The tone was set for the day, allowing everyone to create our first abstract paintings without judgement. So often, we are our own greatest critics. We beat ourselves up when we don’t think we have done well enough. Today was about suspending all that negative self-talk and just playing with new materials.
Georgia comes well prepared with plenty of examples and samples for everyone to look at. Given how much information she has to share, these form a fantastic resource. Samples of different watercolour and acrylic paint effects were in constant demand during the day as we all wanted more and more ideas.
Making material choices
The real work (fun) started with a rummage through Georgia’s treasure trove of paper, twine, lace, fabric, pictures and much, much more. Her demonstration started with a period of intuitive composition with a selection of texture-creating materials. Once the composition feels ready, the individual items get stuck down with gesso and the painting is left to dry. Things to remember: non-porous materials won’t hold paint as well (or at all, if they’re not coated with gesso). and organic materials must be completely sealed to ensure they remain intact over time. On an impulse I added the contents of a teabag to my painting, so this was valuable knowledge.
In a moment of curiosity, I bought some sheets of elephant dung paper in South Africa last year. I wanted to try it for watercolour painting. As you can see from the photo above, it wasn’t a successful experiment. The paper is just too soft and absorbent. There’s not enough structure to hold the pigment well enough. I wrote it off to experience and left the paper in a drawer thinking I wouldn’t ever find a use for it. I had a flash of inspiration when I was collecting the materials for this workshop and fished it out of the drawer to bring along. It’s got a great texture for this sort of work: at last I have a use for it.
Do you want to know more about painting with Georgia in Cambridgeshire? Click here to
about her Whittlesford Workshop in June 2023
Putting it together
At the end of stage one (composition and gesso application) my painting included fabric, fruit bags, rafia, tea leaves, leather shapes, plastic bag, (and indeed, a smattering of elephant poo!)
We started applying colour washes with acrylic paints and watercolour pencils after lunch, once all the gesso was thoroughly dried,
There’s more work to be done – detail to be added and textures to be emphasised.
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