Anne Ryan

Artist Journal Making short course

Artist Journal Making…  

Last week the  ‘premiere class’ of my Artist Journal Making short course  finished their fourth and final lesson for the term at Malvern School of Art!  The short course ran for 4 consecutive Saturday classes.

It was such a thrill to be among like minded ‘creatives’ who were committed to developing and nurturing their artistic expression.

As adults we can struggle with the ability to ‘let go’ of expectations. Our lives are so controlled by time constraints and daily commitments that we have developed ways to be efficient and task orientated to survive.

The desire to ‘control outcomes’ can also creep into our creative output. It is the ‘handbrake’ of creativity and artistic growth. As a result our work can appear quite monotone and one dimensional.

‘Play’ comes naturally to kids. As does their ability to ‘let go’, to experiment and to explore free from expectation.

How do we unlearn our adult habits and regain the freedom to explore and play with the acceptance and flexibility of children?

Like everything in life we have to work at it and be open to experiences that occur by chance. It’s a lifestyle choice and a way of walking through every day with intent, curiosity and the ability to embrace change in everything we do.

We began by personalising and creating our own hand made art journal.


Anna responded very quickly to the gouache medium. She spent time learning to blend colours and develop her brush technique gaining independence and confidence quickly as she made independent choices with the medium including collage techniques and contrasting opaque areas with transparent colours.

Priscilla responded in a very natural way to the ink medium. She did not shy away from the intensity of the pigment and explored dripping, blending and layering colour using different techniques.

Inga’s love of animals was a driving motivation for her work and storytelling.  Her enthusiasm and determination to develop painterly techniques drove her prolific output. Inga’s persistent experimentation with colour mixing, layering and medium combinations was a thrill to watch.

Melissa showed a real interest in learning and experimenting with different papers for different mediums and effects. It was really inspiring to see her follow her interest in fashion and character illustration with new mediums and techniques.

What an inspiring group of students !  I was so lucky to have such a motivated group of positive and supportive students, willing to share and collaborate so freely with their creative processes.

A Huge Thank you

to the

AJM class # 101 !!


A special Thank you to TULL SUWANNAKIT

For providing such a warm and inspiring studio at

Malvern School of Art

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