A little about me: I am self taught and originally used inks, gouache, acrylic, and watercolor for my art predominately painting wildlife and horses.  My son had a school project on alligators and crocodiles.  At the time they had just found a crocodile skull fossil at Swanage so in his innocence he asked if we could go and find one. Explaining to him the chance of finding one I suggested I could try to make a fossil for him and so developed this type of art.  I recently got recognized as an artist by Who's who in visual art 100 artisans,craftspeople and designers.  I was down to go to art school but never made it as circumstances forced me into another direction.

 

I am very aware of how in nature so many similarities occur which intrigues me.  The shape and form of sticks and seeds look so similar to bones, the similarity between a sycamore seed and an insect wing etc.  for teaching, I would love children to look around them and be aware of what nature has to offer, to be inspired and look at the world through different eyes.  To understand how sometimes nature contributes to the advancement of science  and technology, for example how helicopter blades were inspired by dragonfly wings.  One quirky bit of fun I enjoy is collecting branches from the forest and producing a sculpture and leaving it there, attached you will find some examples .  My art work can also be inspired by prehistoric cave art.

 

The  classes  laste around 1 hour.  The format starts with a brief introduction of what inspires me to do my art and what fossils are,  I usually show some examples of my artwork and my own collection of fossils and pictures. I try to put over the fact that fossils are not just from the past but  continue to form to this day. One thing I like the kids to imagine is what fossils will be found 60 million years from now ie tractor tracks, perhaps a discarded old chair and emphasize that any organic based item could end up fossilized or as an imprint.  I also get employed by Science Zone to help out with the fossil based science activities and impart some of my knowledge about fossils.

 

I issue the pupils with two tablets, one plain the other pre prepared with sand. Onto the blank tablet they stick down the items I have foraged and whilst the glue is drying encourage them to try some cave art on the pre- prepared tablet.  Returning to the other pallet when dry they paint it then add the sand.

 

Other options for the future are where they forage for there own ingredients before returning to create there own nature inspired art using their own ideas, another is to talk about cave painting and how the pigments were made and for them to have a go themselves at recreating these and developing their own designs.  I have lots of other ideas too but  if sessions were to continue being flexible and catering to the needs and ideas of the group is also important to me.

 

I am looking at between 10 to 15 per class at a charge of £5 to include materials (£3 for extra siblings). They also get to take the work home.and a real fossil