Sunday, 24 February 2013

All things Welsh @ The Laboratory

This weekend's workshop at The Laboratory provided participants with the opportunity to make and create decorations and works of art, ready to celebrate St David's Day on the 1st March.
The Laboratory is a place where all ages and all abilities can experiment, explore and create art in an inspiring and creative environment - that's accessible and affordable. Each week there is a different workshop that will explore a specific skill, medium, technique or topic. We operate on a drop in basis between 12:00noon and 4:00pm and you can stay and play until you have completed your project. This week it was really nice for parents and carers to get involved in the making and painting process, after all art should be for all.
If you would like to find out information on any upcoming workshops, to book a children's (or adults) art party or enquire about art courses/lessons at The Laboratory - please email Lisa on

A productive day at The Laboratory, beautiful canvas work girls.
 Here are a few of the pieces we made to inspire participants attending the workshop:
Abstract Daffodil Art Canvas painted using acrylic paint

Fire breathing welsh dragon made from recycled materials

Welsh themed collage plaque made using  paper-craft techniques
 So how did they get on...
The workshops provide the opportunity for participants to try new techniques, materials, learn new skills - and of course come along for a good natter!

These four canvases would look amazing on anyone hallway - well done boys

Enjoying getting messy with paint whilst decorating the Welsh dragon

Working hard on our drawing skills - Have your tried drawing the Welsh flag?
Participants drew these using the upside down drawing technique - engaging the left side of the brain  to focus on the image they were drawing

The workshops are not just for the children, grown ups enjoy getting messy and creative at The Laboratory as well

Monday, 18 February 2013

Canvas Painting at The Lab

This Sunday visitors to The Laboratory of all ages went on a canvas painting frenzy. Participants were shown how to make a stencil using oiled manilla stencil card. 
Our budding artists selected a starting image from a range of potential images provided to use as their stencil, formulated a plan for their canvas and sketched this onto a piece of paper. 
Once our artists had come up with the idea for their canvas, they painted their background using acrylic paint, learning to mix colours and use a range of different brush strokes to create varying effects.
The prepared stencil could then be laid on the top of the canvas to decide where would be the best spot for the image. When the perfect spot had been decided the stencil was taped into position using a piece of masking tape and acrylic paint was applied over the top of the stencil.
The good thing about using the oiled manilla card is that it is reusable, the stencil can be wiped down and applied again and again without the card getting soggy, splitting or blotting (obviously as long as you take care with your stencilling and the cleaning of the stencil).
As a final touch some of our artists decided to add embellishments and collage to complete the canvas.

Here is what we got up

William and Archie enjoying a refreshment whilst working hard on their beautiful canvases

Frankie creating a stunning abstract design using masking tape on her canvas

Stanley carefully stencilling a butterfly on the canvas

A busy afternoon canvas painting at The Laboratory

Some people chose to apply additional collage to their canvases
 And here are some of the finished pieces
A stencil dragonfly hovering over a beautiful lake

A beautiful mixed media canvas featuring masking tape, stencils and collaged butterflies

A stencilled bike leans up against a parkland tree

A kandinsky style canvas by a 3year old!!! - with some fancy stencilled feet

A stenciled cat and butterfly look out on an evening sunset

Lively and energetic colour blast with stencilled butterflies

Masking tape beech trees with collaged dragonflies

The Laboratory run workshops every weekend, why not join us on Saturday 23rd February for our St David's day art workshop and make your own flag, welsh lady, dragon and daffodil art. The workshops are run on a drop in basis between 12 noon and 4:00 pm and cost £3:00 per person. For more information contact Lisa on 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Featured Artist - Lee Rich

This month we are delighted to be exhibiting the stunning photo realistic canvases of Lee Rich at The Laboratory. Lee, married with two children, was born in Rochford and grew up on Canvey, now living local to Wat Tyler.
 Lee drew pictures and enjoyed colouring as a child but never picked up a paint brush. It has only been in the last couple of years that Lee has discovered that she has a talent for painting and a keen eye for detail.
In 2011 Lee registered and signed up for a painting on canvas course with BEST ( Basildon Education Services Trust). It was here that Lee discovered acrylics and was given the opportunity to explore art and try new things.
Since realising her talent in 2011 and with the support and encouragement from friends and family, Lee has produced some beautiful pieces of work which are currently displayed at The Laboratory at Wat Tyler Country Park. Lee has also exhibited work at the Basildon Art Gallery in the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Lee's chosen and preferred medium is acrylics and has recently completed a few commissioned projects on canvas. Lee works from photos and paints her representation of what she sees in a photo realistic style. Lee enjoys painting portraits and animals, especially tackling textured fur and fine detail.
 If you would like to commission a pet portrait, portrait or painting for yourself or as a gift, Lee would be happy for you to contact her on:
Alternatively check out Lee's blog on :

Lee's stunning canvases exhibited at The Laboratory

"Crane" Acrylic on canvas. Can you believe this was Lee's first ever painting?

"Homeless Boy" Acrylic on canvas.

"Simon" Acrylic on canvas.

"Lenny" Acrylic on canvas.

"Journey Home" Acrylic on canvas.

"Junior" Acrylic on canvas.

"Nahla" Acrylic on board. Why not order a stunning pet portrait as a special gift for  that special someone?

For more information on The Laboratory or to enquire about a commission contact Lisa at or visit The Laboratory, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, Essex SS16 4UH Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00am-4:30pm.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Art Parties at The Laboratory

The Laboratory Art Studio based at Wat Tyler Country Park now hosts Art Parties for all ages from 0-90 for all occasions including Birthday party's, Weddings, Anniversaries etc. 
Our art parties are a hassle-free, affordable, fun and a creative experience for your child (or adult) to enjoy with their friends. Parties are tailored and designed around a theme or medium of your choice.
Celebrate and create with a  birthday party at The Laboratory

Mediums could include:
Clay, Potters wheel, PaperCraft, Collage, Fabric, Sculpture, Canvas painting, Nail Art, Tiara & Jewellery Making, Ceramic painting, Glass painting, Origami, Drawing and Design etc.

Quality Artworks designed and completed within an Art Party Setting.
Party themes can include:
Pirates, Under the sea, Prince and Princess, Bugs and Butterflies, Dr Who, The Simpsons, Jungle animals, Mermaids, Cars, Ghosties, Football, Moshi Monsters, Manga, Urban Art, Pop Art, Splash and Splatter and so much more.

 This party featured a hot-wheel theme where children designed and created their own pencil powered car and bookmark.  
The Laboratory all set up ready for a hot-wheels themed art party
Parents are welcome to stay and play with their children at the parties. 

The children proudly showing off their fabulous creations

Why not add a little extra spice to your party by choosing one of the additional attractions The Laboratory and Wat Tyler Country Park can offer.
The Wat Tyler Train - include a wonderful half an hour train ride around the park*
The Wat Tyler train comes complete with customised tickets for your party

The Retro Bouncy Castle - this castle is a perfect accompaniment to any party and has been specifically designed to cater for adults as well as children*
Retro Bouncy Castle ideal for children and adults alike
*Additional charges apply and both the train and bouncy castle and both are dependent on good weather.

Price range: £8 per child for 1 hour booking which includes one art activity & pass the arty parcel
£10 per child for 2 hours booking including two art activities, pass the arty parcel and break half way for snack**
Minimum booking of 8 children on any bookings...
**additional charge for snacks or bring your own

To book you space or find out more information contact Lisa Smith on:

Venue: No 1 The Laboratory, (opposite The Green Centre), Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane  Pitsea, Basildon, Essex SS16 4UH

Follow me on Twitter: @1the_laboratory            
Mobile: 07970332097