Monthly Archives: July 2013

Thomas Street Fest – Urban Art Festival

Thomas Street Fest – Urban Art Festival

this evolve postermap of grafiti

Last weekend I was heading into the city centre when I saw a poster advertising ‘The Thomas Street Fest-Urban Art festival’ which was a 3-day graffiti street art event (from Friday 19th July until Sunday 21st July). It was all part of a urban art come regeneration project in partnership with the Thomas Street Business Association which too place during the Liberties Festival. There was a variety of large scale and small scale graffiti style murals painted along Thomas Street and Meath Street. There was a map, here’s a copy of it but it only showed the location of the art works not what artists were involved. I was taking pictures when I recognised a good friend of mine (Jessica Tobin) from my class in college spray painting some of the art work. She is also painted the shutters of the simon Community Shop on Thomas Street. Turns out she actually had designed the poster too. She is a really great illustrator as you can see from the work shown. To find out more about her you can visit her blog here.

I also really like the graffiti style stencil art by Anna Doran called ‘New Kid on the block’. It is just around the corner on the entrance to Chadwick’s hardware shop which is also on Thomas Street.  I ;like the way she painted the background with brightly coloured checker board effect which really makes the stenciled kid on the swing (in grey and black) really stand out.

A4 art graffiti10 jess paintingA4 art graffiti9 A4 art graffiti2 A4 art graffiti8 A4 art graffiti5 A4 art graffiti6 for blogA4 art graffiti1

Creche1 graffitiCreche2 graffiti

Dublin simon graffiti for blog Chadwicks graffiti for blog

Graffiti Art

Graffiti Art

Graffiti art is an art form that I really like. I think it can add something special to dull or mundane areas. Dublin is home to many fine graffiti examples, one that really is a hidden treasure trove is the Tivoli Carpark on Francis Street, Dublin 8. Its walls are filled with great street art. If you get the chance I recommend going to see it yourself. Its a few months since I had been there previously and most of the walls had new work on them.

Irish boxer tivoli for blog

Dog for blog Cat for blogHorse for blogWonky tivoli for blog I don't want to grow up francis for blog




Origami Workshop

Origami Workshop

Yesterday I attended an origami workshop. I was so impressed with the great work I saw on display which was done by one of the organisers.

1 origami wkshop staffThe first origami project we did as a group, each  learning to make the 2 folds used in origmi: the valley fold and the mountain fold. When we had made 3 pieces each we started to connect them to build this really cool looking tetrahedron. This would be a great 1st origami project to introduce the origami techniques to a class.

1 Group origami polyhedron1 2 Group origami polyhedron2 3 Group origami polyhedron3 4 Group origami polyhedron4
I hadn’t tried origami before so was pleased with all the little pieces that I made: a bird, a dogs head and a flower. I even made a box with a lid to contain my work.
2a origami dog for blog 3a Flower origami heart for blog 1a  origami bird for blog this box for blog this Box with lid for blog


Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year Festival 2013

Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year Festival 2013
RDS facade

‘Portrait Artist of the year 2013’, RDS.
Source: MURO street art facebook page

On Sunday 14th July I attended the Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year Festival 2013 in the RDS in Dublin. This was a free festival which included the Irish heat of the Sky Arts Portrait of the Year competition and was filmed for a Sky Arts 1 HD series to be broadcast in the autumn. It featured a range of free interactive arts activities including free portraits, portrait workshops and demos, sketching classes, mask making, face painting and multi-media art classes for adults and for children.

In the centre of the room in a circle split into 3 were the models: lethal bizzle (English musician and actor), David Rawle (Irish Actor) and Pauline McLynn (Irish actress, best known as Mrs. Doyle in Father Ted). Each model had 7 artists capture their subjects in their own individual way, it was nice to see all the works in progress as well as their source.

centre stage facebook

Centre stage set-up.
Source: MURO Street art facebook page

3 empty canvases facebook

All 3 completed murals facebook

I was especially interested in the MURO STREET ART: Street artists Jonny Mc Kerr, Danilo Quo Vadis and Morgan each have very individual different styles.

My favourite was Jonny McKerr’s portrait of Joan Bakewell (English journalist, television presenter) because of his free graffiti like style yet he captures a lot of detail.

Joan Bakewell, work in progressCompleted 1st mural, from Facebook
Joan Bakewell,

Joan Bakewell,

The highlight for me apart from watching the competition with the artists all at work was the Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School (life drawing class turned cabaret/ Burlesque) which was definitely more interesting than your average life-drawing class! There were plenty of seats for people to sit and try their hand at capturing the unusual poses and themes of the costumed models. Themes including Lichtenstein-Pop Art, Mucha-Art Nouveau and Degas-Impressioinism. Each themed model did several poses for varying lengths of time. I think this would be a great idea for incorporating art history into life-drawing.

Burlesque 2
Burlesque for blog

Pointilsm Racoon Mural

Pointilsm Racoon Mural
7 ponitilism racoon3 Pointilism Racoon mural pieces

This lesson was inspired by Pointillism – grid drawing project that I seen on Julianna Kunstler’s Pinterest page. It was originally meant for students to do individually but I thought it would be perfect to do as a group project.

The image was a little small as there were 24 students in my class so I enlarged the Racoon image to A3 and then photocopied a mirror image so they would have 2 racoons to work from. I then stuck them together and cut them into 5x5cm square pieces. On the back of each piece I wrote a letter and a number so we would know how to put the mural back together and I laminated each piece.

Each student was given a piece at random to copy using the pointilism technique. If any student finished early they received a new piece to copy. Below are some photos of the process for you to see.

1 racoon orginal whisker piece for blog

Original racoon whisker

2 copied racoon whisker piece for blog

Copied racoon whisker

5 Racoon orginal eye piece

Original racoon eye

6 Copied Racoon mural eye piece for blog

Copied racoon eye

4 finished Racoon mural copy for blog

Completed racoon class mural

It took 3 double classes to add the finishing touches and assemble the finished mural, but the result is incredibly impressive! The students were very excited assembling the mural as they did not know what they were drawing until it was all assembled. I think this really helped them focus more on looking rather than trying to draw what they know it should look like.

‘Paper Quays’ Exhibition

‘Paper Quays’ Exhibition
1 Cut out paper Dublin Quays10 for blog

‘Paper Quays’ Exhibition poster:
Cut paper view of CHQ Building

Last August I went to  see the Tall Ships Festival and saw ‘Paper Quays’ exhibition (a Cut Paper Installation of the City Quays) on display in the CHQ Building in Dublin.

Dublin-based animator and illustrator Maeve Clancy was commissioned to create it as part of the Tall Ships festival 2012. The ‘Paper Quays’ was  a stunning 25 metre long cut-paper installation depicting Dublin’s quayside from the Four Courts to the Customs House. Viewers were able to walk around the piece and look through it at various viewpoints to see the amazing architecture and fine details up close, the shadows that the work cast were also beautiful.

Here are some photos that I took. As you can see the work is both visually detailed and delicate.

2 Cut out paper Dublin Quays3 for blog

Four courts

3 Cut out paper Dublin Quays6 ffor blog

Custom House

Her work is truely amazing, for more information on her, check out her website here. After seeing this exhibition, I thought it would be a really cool project to try with an art class. If anyone has ever tried a project similar to this in the classroom, feel free to feel free to leave a comment, thanks, Ruth 😎





4 Cut out paper Dublin Quays11 for blog

Ha’penny Bridge Detail




Art room Organization ideas

Art room Organization ideas

bull dog clips idea for photocopies 2

If like me you are always photocopying notes for Art or Art History, it can be hard to keep all your notes separate but easy to distribute. These clips would save heaps of time as they are labeled on the front, back and sides, so no matter which way you look at them, they still show the label, super oraganized! Thanks to Kim at for this great idea, I love it!

bulldog clips idea for sort photocopiesNot sure if there is any where in Ireland that would sell these but I figure maybe a solution is printing off the subject or class and sticking it to the bullclip, maybe cover it with clear contact to protect the paper.

Anyone got any better ideas?

1st year planning ideas

1st year planning ideas

This year I was covering a maternity leave for a good friend of mine until Christmas. In her school, like in a lot of Irish secondary school, all 1st years (equivalent to the 7th grade) do all subjects and then select what they want to keep on at the end of the year. There is a lot of pressure to keep the art class exciting and motivating enough for them to keep it on for 2nd year while still covering all the basics of the Junior Cert curriculum (3rd year state examination). They only have 1 double class (80  mins) a week.

Here’s a rough outline of my 1st year plan:

In August I started off teaching art basics to 1st years by introducing the elements, some basic 2-d to 3-d shape drawings and then some basic drawing techniques based on these shapes such as cups, bottles etc. We also made some packaging-giftbags.

After mid-term in October, we moved on to the colour wheel, basic portrait techniques and then some mask making which brought them up to December. Had I been there for the rest of the year, I probably would have moved onto 3-d options such as clay or puppetry in January.

As there are many ways to plan the 1st year art curriclum, I’m curious what other art teachers are doing?
What’s your yearly plan like?

Please share, I thank you in advance. Please feel free to post a comment or e-mail me.

Ruth 😉