Tuesday, 1 August 2017

J is for July and Journaling

This month, a little update from one of our newer members, thank you Kath Newton.

We had hoped that Mark from Leeds Market would be able to attend and give a short talk, but he was unable to make it which was a shame, but we had plenty to look forward to on the day with another creative workshop to come from Jayne.

Some main points from our meeting:
  • Debbie is arranging a private tour for our group of the Katagami (Japanese stencil) exhibition at Leeds University on 4th August. It will be as late in the day as possible so that most of those interested can attend. Further details to follow.
  • This months supper club was a great success, with a big thanks to Jane for organising. Debbie made it safely home afterwards on her bike and is now looking forward to her next challenge, and rumour has it Bradley Wiggins is worried about this competition.
  • Debbie has kindly arranged an outdoor cinema in her garden for Saturday 29th July. The feature film will be Mamma Mia so a good sing-a-long is on the cards. We can join Debbie at 8pm for a great evening.
  • The Big Lunch was a fantastic event with a local councillor attending, plus good publicity via the Leeds TV stations
  • The NFWI have sent through a lot of campaign material and we need to consider which campaigns, if any, we think are worth becoming more involved in. This may not be the best time to start new activity in view of the start of the summer holidays... but there will be some planning / brainstorming of potential campaign activity over the summer - in particular, we'd like to give some thought to what we can do for the reducing loneliness campaign.
  • In the WI's centenary year, we compiled a list of 100 inspirational women, which we published on a Tumblr blog   The list is amazing and we would very much like to continue sharing our inspirational female heroines, so please email Andrea with the woman you'd like to nominate, and a piece (short or long) on why this person inspires you.
After lunch, Jayne then introduced the craft of Journaling to us. She explained the idea of creating a special book about and for the Darling Roses, and using the pages that we create individually in this workshop to start this project off. We might be looking at what has been done in the past and what we can take into the future, or focusing again on what or who has inspired us. It will be both personal and collective, with everyone taking part. Journaling uses elements of collage, illustration, painting, mixed media etc,  and Jayne talked us through the layering techniques that can be utilised with various paints, watercolour pencils and other materials. The key thing is that there are no rules and all of us quickly got into the spirit of the work. Creative juices started flowing and fabulous results were achieved, which surprised quite a few of us who had never before thought we could create this type of artwork

Footnote - the day was so successful, and enjoyable, that we have swiftly scheduled in Journaling Part 2 for September! :-) 


June - featuring catering, canals and still-life drawing

Our June meeting was held only a few days after round three of our annual residency, running the Armley Mills Wool Festival pop-up cafe. Maia reported back to us on another highly successful day - the festival had slightly lower footfall than the previous year (something beyond our control), but the hard work and organisation we put in this year seemed to pay off, delivering a very healthy profit. We enjoyed great weather on the day and the usual camaraderie that sees us through these events, plus some very positive feedback from the customers. A huge thank you to all of our members who contributed in planning and baking for this event, plus of course the dream team on the day!

Back to June, after running through the rest of our meeting agenda we welcomed Ray from the Canals and Rivers Trust, who gave us a talk on the history of the canal network in Britain. Running from the Victorian heyday to the long, slow decline and the happier picture of today, Ray brought us up to speed. Thank you very much Ray.

Then, after our usual fantastic lunch spread - with BIG plates this month, where on earth did they come from?! - we moved on to this month's workshop run by our Jayne. Still life drawing was the game (aim?) and Jayne talked us through how to choose suitable arrangements of objects, and shared a number of ways to develop our skills and improve our compositions. We had a lovely collection of flowers, foliage, vases, bottles, shells and whimsical objects to choose from, and we set about creating our little scenes with some artfully draped backdrops. And do you know what, despite the usual protestations of "I can't do it, never could" or "I haven't drawn since I was a child", a hush descended on the room and we all diligently worked away... with surprisingly good results - no, that's not a backhanded compliment! As ever, Jayne's creative guidance, patience and encouragement coaxed the best out of us. Thank you Jayne xx