Students from Scoil Mhachan planting trees on the school grounds with artist Carol Healy & biologist Darragh Murphy
March 5 – 12
“Art and Maths of Trees”
During Tree week 2017 Blackrock Castle Observatory in association with Qualcomm , workshops were held in Scoil Mhachan Gaoil Scoil, Nagle Community college and Ashbourne House Direct Provision Centre.
During the workshops the students had a hands on session of art, sketching and close observation of trees in the locale and a mathematical study of tree growth.
The workshops were run by Darragh Murphy Biologist and Educator www.dmurphynature.com
and Artist Carol Healy http://www.carolhealy.com
On Monday March 6th at 16.00 – 18.00 there will be a guided walk for families from BCO along the line this is open to the public.
We had a beautiful day in Ashbourne House , exploring the gardens many different tree species, the children aged from 5 up to 15 each had a handmade sketchbook and drawing materials to explore observation through drawing exercises. We did rubbings, blind drawing and sensory drawing. All ages enjoyed this fun way of discovering natures beauty that is right on their doorstep.
The children in Ashbourne House putting the finishing touches to their handmade sketchbooks for tree week.
Preparation for tree week 2017 - Making little sketchbooks for our field trip
Students from Scoil Mhachan blind drawing the contours of the mature trees beside their school.
Contour lines / out-lines - After focusing on the surface in the first exercise now the students use tracing paper to trace the outlines of any shapes they can see in the bark including any lichens or fungi as well as the bark its self. They will now be looking for areas of surface which contain lines and edges, surfaces which are raised up or that protrude.
Getting up close to nature - students made beautiful rubbings from tree bark , which made a very impressive cover for their sketchbooks. It was all hands on ! 1 – Frottage or Rubbing – through the process of making the frottage the student worked hands on with the trunk and bark of the tree, this physical contact along with the drawing process brings the materiality and structure of the bark into awareness, such as the type of surface, smooth, rough, broken or uneven, noticing marks, lines or patterns on a particular tree.
Blind Drawing – Finally the students will have gained a sense of what it is to really look and see all the lines, marks patterns and spaces. With their eyes warmed up to seeing I guided them through an exercise called blind drawing.
Blind drawing is an exercise where you draw what the eye can see, you do not look at the page only at the object and follow the lines etc. It is one of the key exercises in learning to draw, it teaches you to see like an artist. Improves hand eye coordination and concentration. 15 year old Sarah from Ashbourne house drew this Alder twig , picking up on all the details beautifully.