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  • Writer's picturevashtiart

Exploring Texture: Rubbings

In this lesson, we'll explore texture. This is a lovely practice for exploring the textures around us, which helps us gain an awareness of our surroundings in a fresh way. It can also be a simple way to focus on our senses and get really present. Have fun!

You will need:

* paper. (printer or similar weight paper works well. you may want to try papers from your recycle bin - envelopes, used paper, paper bags, packing papers)

* crayons, peeled and halved (or, if you have block crayons or melted down crayons, those work really well. or! use what you have - charcoal, pencil, pastels, color pencils - any of these can work)

* objects you can lay your paper over to do texture rubbings. gather interesting materials and lay them on a tray or piece of paper so you can easily choose items as you are ready (things like leaves, paper clips, sand paper, the nets some fruits come in, corrugated cardboard ... explore your environment and put together an interesting collection!)

Prepare your space:

* cover your work area

* have several pieces of paper ready to work with

* optional: painters (or other) tape to hold papers in place if needed

* keep drinking water nearby

* put out your coloring materials and your texture materials so they are easy to see and reach

* music? light? whatever makes it your ideal creative workspace, do that!

The work:


* first, crumple a piece of paper. gently un-crumple. then re-crumple. gently re-open and smooth

* take some time to observe the paper: touch it, shake it, rub your hand across it, compare it to an un-crumpled paper

* lay a crayon flat against the page and drag it. do this several times, then choose another crayon and repeat. Do this until you feel finished. Notice where the crayon sticks to the page, how the colors look and how the paper feels


* lay several items out on your work area

* lay a plain piece of paper over the objects

* select a crayon and drag it over the page. Try different colors, varying the pressure of your crayon, overlapping images


* try folding and unfolding a paper, then do rubbings on that

* fill some spaces with color, fill some with patterns and designs

* take paper outside, around your living area, and explore the textures that surround you. (be careful to keep the crayon marks only on the paper, not on the surfaces below)

* incorporate a color lesson (primaries, secondaries, warms, cools, complementaries ...)

Even if you're not using the pieces you create today, and even if you don't totally love them, I encourage you to save them. You may want to use them as book covers, in collage, as stationery - we'll be doing some projects later that can use papers you've created in some of these lessons.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg said:

“But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you.” “That’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for one’s self but for one’s community.”

This is my work - to make art, and to make spaces for communities to create and explore art making. These videos are my way of sharing this work out in the world, with my communities and beyond, as we physically distance and virtually connect. My hope is they can inspire some joy, some kindness, some creative adventure, some connection.

Have Fun! Be kind to yourself and each other.

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