Last week I was fortunate to spend time with Michael Brennand-Wood, an extremely talented British artist. Monday night I attended a lecture with my friend, Catherine, at which he presented content that left me anxious to get to know more about his work. Michael does mixed media work utilizing wood, fibre, wire, plastic, natural materials, synthetic materials – I don’t think there is anything that he doesn’t use and use creatively. He showed slides of his work, which included numerous large commissions. The variety was staggering.

Tuesday I attended a full day workshop at ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design) with my friend, Pam. The whole day was incredibly stimulating – I’m still buzzing with excitement about it. Michael lectured for about an hour, and then we just went to work. Everyone had brought copious amounts of material to work with (as per the supply list) so there were endless possibilities of things to try. It was fascinating to see the differences in materials and ideas that each participant brought to the workshop. I painted, glued, sawed, wired, twisted and joined materials into a “piece” of sorts. I used old painted wooden dowels from my garden, cuttings from our Mountain Ash tree and some milled lumber for the framework. We learned how to twist wire and fabric together to create flexible, colorful wire. Michael suggested making numerous frames and then creating a 3-D form by stacking and intersecting the frames in different ways. So, that’s what I did. I also painted a number of small bamboo cocktail forks and wired them together to make a garland that I wrapped through my piece. I had fun.

An hour before the workshop ended we took time to view each person’s work for the day. There was huge variety and it was very interesting. Michael made comments on everyone’s work, and everyone was free to contribute as well. Fascinating I tell you.

An unexpected bonus was reconnecting with several friends whom I had not seen for several years, like-minded individuals still actively interested in art. All in all a fantastic couple of days. Here are photos of the class in progress and some of the work produced. The last photos are of my work.

Michael Brennand-Wood in class

work from the class

colored sticks

hanging piece with prints

my ACAD work for the day

alternate view of my project

What do you think?

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