Sunday, 17 March 2013

St Patrick's Day Art

Today, The Laboratory at Wat Tyler Country Park celebrated St Patrick's day in style with some very talented individuals.
The task for today was to embrace Irish culture and create a unique flag, wreath and dancing Leprechaun using papercraft techniques. With a selection of the very best in Irish music playing in the background we got to work...
One of our favourite pieces created today. Great design work  on this beautiful Irish  papercraft flag.
Irish papercraft flag
 These flags were created by joining the green, white and orange rectangles together using lolly sticks and double sided tape. This provided additional strength to the flag and enhanced the movement when waved. A design is added to the panels using paper, felt tips and cut outs. Finally a bell is secured to the flag post to give our flags a unique jingle when in motion.
Examples of our Irish themed wreaths
 Our Irish wreaths utilised the qualities of tissue paper to create a range of interesting effects. Tissue paper could be scrunched, have shapes cut out such as shamrocks and flowers, or be wrapped around the centre circle to decorate the wreath. To complete the design embellishments such as glitter glue, sequins, buttons and feathers were added to the wreaths.
Our dancing leprechaun
 Our dancing Leprechauns provided the opportunity to relax and enjoy using colouring in skills. The limbs were secured using small split pins which then allowed the Leprechaun to dance along to the music playing.
Busy St Patrick's day at The Laboratory

The Laboratory provides a space where you can create art and craft items together with your children

All ages enjoy creating and making at The Laboratory

Spongebob goes Irish for the day, in this stunning flag design.

We actively encourage visitors to explore their creative skills when visiting the  studio. 

We love  these drawings that  were inspired by "King" by  featured artist Sharon Stone.
King by Sharon Stone - part of The Figure of Eight collective exhibition at The Laboratory
To find out about our workshops, art classes or works for sale at The Laboratory, please email

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Featured Artist - The Figure of Eight

This month The Laboratory is delighted to be showing work by a collective of female artists from The Figure of Eight Art Group.
The Figure of Eight is more a collective than an art group. They consist of 6 female artists who get together to show and exhibit their work, but instead of seeing themselves as competitors they feel that they enhance one another.  Favouring different mediums, watercolour, acrylic, oil, pencil, diverse subjects and styles; abstracts, landscapes, wildlife and more, and exhibiting together in many venues in Essex, with an aim to encourage and inspire others to get involved in art and culture for the good of everyone. 

You can view the works by The Figure of Eight at weekends between 10:00am-4:30pm but if you can't wait until then, here are some sneaky previews.

Installation View of The Figure of Eight art work at The Lboratory

A stunning collection of eclectic works by The Figure of Eight art group
Sharon first gained a B Tec Diploma in photography at Southend College, winning highest award in her year, choosing to return to her first passion for painting, and now enjoying success with work accepted by the Beecroft, Llewellyn Gallery in London and other local venues and recently won ‘Best in Show’ at Southend Art Club exhibition. Sharon enjoys painting portraits, wildlife and landscape subjects.

Little Ballerina, oil, by Sharon Stone

Gina Warner.  OIL
‘A’ level art at Southend College in 1987;  ‘Visual Arts’ winner Best Painting in 2005 and 2008, and Cliffs Pavilion Action Research in 2004, work accepted in the Beecroft Art Gallery. A member of local art club for over 35 years, she recently won 1st prize (botanical category) at the EAC Art Awards 2012.  Since 2009 Gina has represented the Visual Arts, for the Southend Arts Council. Gina enjoys painting floral and animal subjects in oil.

Poppy Love, oil, by Gina Warner

Elaine Richmond.  PENCIL
‘O’ level Art at Southend College. Her passion for drawing and design enabled her to work for the House of Fraser in Oxford Street.  Elaine has exhibited at the Beecroft, the Cliffs Pavilion and Southend Library, Rochford Art Trail and a member of a local art club for 20 years, receiving a prize for Best Picture in 2008. Subjects varied, but specialises in portraiture.
Tea Break by Elaine Richmond

Rose Hofman.  MIXED MEDIA
‘O’ level Art at Southend College. Painting and drawing for 15 years and a member of a well established Art Club. Work accepted in the ‘Essex Open’ at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Rochford Art Trail, and at local venues in Essex. Rose likes to paint most subjects, including animals.

Night Sky, acrylic, by Rose Hofman

Margaret Cudby.  MIXED MEDIA
Member of the Spinners and Weavers Guild, Margaret came to art through textiles, winning an award in a national exhibition organised by Texture, a yarn manufacturer. Her work was accepted at the ‘Essex Open’ Beecroft Art Gallery, Visual Arts at Southend Central Library, & other Essex venues and loves to paint in a contemporary or abstract style.
Morning Post, pen and watercolour, by Margaret Cudby

 Lynne Grech. ACRYLIC
BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the University of Essex.  Specialising in acrylics, Lynne has exhibited at the Graduate Show in Brick Lane and at Chelsea Art Society, the ‘Essex Open’ at the Beecroft, Visual Arts at Southend Central Library, and Rochford and Westcliff Art Trails.  Contemporary landscapes and other subjects painted.

To view works by The Figure of Eight, Lisa Smith pop in to The Laboratory between 10:00am - 4:30pm weekends. To find out information about exhibiting your art work, attending art classes or art parties please email or call Lisa on 07970332097

Monday, 11 March 2013

Glass painting at The Laboratory

Every weekend The Laboratory Art Studio brings art to the park at Wat Tyler Country Park, located in Pitsea. 
This weekend was no exception, when budding artists joined us for our glass painting workshop. Using small brushes the aim of the workshop was to focus on painting skills and brush strokes.  Our artists contemplated design, use of colours and learnt how to select the correct tool for the job in hand. 
Children and adults enjoyed using a range of mediums including glass paint, glass pens and permanent markers to create their glass art. Each person painted their own tea light holder, small picture frame and created a mobile using acetate, stencils, string and bamboo sticks.
Our workshops currently run as drop-in sessions at the weekend, between 12:00 noon to 4:30 pm and cost £3 per person. 
All classes and workshops at The Laboratory are inclusive, open to all ages and all abilities. If you would like to find out more about our children's or adult's art classes or would like to be added to our mailing list for our weekend workshops at The Laboratory, email Lisa at

Using glass paint to paint in the shapes on acetate for a hanging mobile

Working on a tea light design

Some people chose to paint a picture on their frame, We think these flowers are gorgeous?

Busy creating designs for our hanging mobiles

All ages enjoy coming along to the weekend workshops and learning new techniques, exploring new mediums and having fun in a  relaxing environment to make arts and crafts

A beautiful matching tea-light and frame with a violet floral design

Here are some of the beautiful pieces that were made throughout the glass painting workshop

Proudly showing off the stunning pieces made at The Laboratory