This week our theme is animals and wildlife. We've got some great activities, prompts and resources to keep creative at home, or out and about while observing government guidelines.
This week, 18-24 May, is also Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 – about which you can find out more here. In Development Services we know that art and sport are some of the most powerful tools we have to improve peoples health and well-being – and offer these resources in that spirit.
Amy our amazing Programme Support Assistant has put together this fantastic step-by-step guide to creating a Papier-mâché animal of your choice:
Makes 1 big batch
Prep 10 minutes
An old newspaper, comics or magazines
1 level mug of plain flour
1 level mug of warm water, plus extra tap water for loosening
Tear or cut strips or little squares from your newspaper, comics or magazines according to the project you're working on. Do this first before you make the paste so that the paste doesn't set while you're cutting the paper!
Stir together the flour and warm water in a large mixing bowl until well combined and add extra tap water a little at a time to loosen. You want to aim for a smooth paste (like pancake batter) with no lumps. You can always sift the flour first for a super smooth finish.
Cover your work area in a plastic sheet or old newspaper (it'll start to get messy!). Dip the paper strips in the paste, wipe off the excess on the side of the bowl and stick onto your balloon (make sure you leave a small area around the knot of the balloon without any paper mache). Use a paintbrush to smooth down the paper and remove any air bubbles or excess paste. Repeat to cover and leave to dry before adding more layers (aim for 3-4 to make it extra strong). Once this has all dried, stick a pin to burst your balloon and pull out via the small hole left around the knot. You can begin to paint and design your Papier-mâché animal!
You can draw on the cardboard and cut out ears, front and back legs, wings, beak etc, not forgetting to add some more details like, toes or even feathers. Use masking tape to attach them to the balloon then paint the whole thing with paint.
You can decide what colour to paint your animal. Attach buttons, or just draw the eyes to bring them to life! Use cotton wool for fur and tails, and black strips of cardboards for whiskers! You can even add toilet paper rolls for legs and make it really 3-D!
Animals are a brilliant subject for art of all kinds – film, photography, creative writing, animation and music. This video from former Birmingham Poet Laureate Spoz illustrates that brilliantly.
Also, here are a few pictures of animals which our Arts Development Officers Stewart and Huw have been taking on their walks along the canal over the past few weeks.
If you’ve been taking any photos of animals on your daily walks recently, or have any animal themed creations you’d like to share, then we’d love to see them. You can send things to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or via the #creativebromsgrove hashtag.
The RSPB have some great ornithological resources available online. Here are some tips for gardeners who want to give nature a home – and here’ some advice on identifying birds you might see from your window or while out and about.