A walk in nature and a mixed-media collage class may seem like they have nothing in common, but when the collage class is taught by “The Paper Alchemist,” aka Darien-based artist Laura Lein-Svencner, their similarities become abundantly clear.
Think about the last time you took a walk in one of the DuPage County forest preserves. What did you get out of that walk? Perhaps a sense of calm? A connection with your surroundings? A renewed appreciation for beauty and the natural world? Maybe even a better sense of yourself?
Lein-Svencner’s classes, taught regularly at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, all strive to accomplish these same outcomes.
Take for example, Lein-Svencner’s two upcoming classes: Art at Mayslake: Nature Words and Collage (Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sept. 26 – Nov. 7); and Art at Mayslake: Collage and Mixed Media Studio (Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Nov. 11 – Dec. 16) . The classes encourage students to look to nature (both visual and written references) to inspire their work.
Students also reflect on their own stories and are driven to connect their inner selves with their outer selves. Lein-Svencner teaches a variety of artistic techniques in her classes. From sketching to the use of tack irons, students achieve a sense of calm through the meditative process of art-making.
"I hope that the experience of art, nature, life and creativity emerge together, giving each of us a fuller understanding of our connectedness to all things around us in our environment," Lein-Svencner said of the classes.
Lein-Svencner’s process as an artist is no less inspired. “My collage works are in a constant state of flux with each session. Visual and physical entries grow from the self-discovery, new compositions stem from the need to take a risk and explore.
"I am passionately stimulated by the natural flow of chaos that each piece starts with, allowing me the opportunity to pretend to solve the mystery that presents itself to be explored,” she said.
One former student said of Lein-Svencner’s class, “[It was] packed with wonderful techniques along with strong teaching design. Laura creates a safe environment where creativity is nurtured, educated and encouraged to experiment and play.”
If you’re looking for another way to connect with nature in the DuPage forest preserves, a mixed media collage class could be just the thing. And an added benefit – you may end up with a beautiful piece of art to hang on your wall!
Art at Mayslake: Nature Words and Collage Six-Part Class
Using inspiration from famous authors who wandered the great outdoors, fill the pages of travel-size sketchbooks with new awareness. Thursdays. Ages 18 and up. $165 per person. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
|Sept. 26 – Nov. 7||9:30 a.m. – Noon||Mayslake|
Art at Mayslake: Collage and Mixed Media Studio Six-Part Class
Work independently on collages and mixed-media projects at this studio-style class, which will have discussions and demos on composition, design and techniques. Mondays. Ages 18 and up. $165 plus $10 supply fee per person. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
|Nov. 11 – Dec. 16||9:30 a.m. – Noon||Mayslake|