Leigh Art Trail 2019 invitation

SEVEN has had busy year and is showing at the Leigh Art Trail for the third consecutive year at Venue 52: Planet Leasing. We’ll be open late on Thursday 13 June for drinks and nibbles and we’d like to invite you to join us and take a look through our books. This year we have been making our own books and taking inspiration from an artist or art movement.

We look forward to seeing you!

Half-term Disco Doodling for the Big Draw

If you thought October was all about Halloween or the clocks going back then you’d be wrong. It’s also the month of The Big Draw, a festival which aims to promote:

“visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention.”

Big Draw Festival – SEVEN invitation

Which is why SEVEN found ourselves dancing and doodling with kids and their families at Leigh Community Centre one Friday afternoon during the half term break.

  • Go to the bottom of this post to check out our top tip for doodling alone too!

What is Disco Doodling?

SEVEN believe everyone is creative, we just need to be given the opportunity to explore in a fun and supportive atmosphere. Cue: music.

If you check out artists like Piet Mondrian of Broadway Boogie Woogie fame or James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Nocturnes you’ll see that art and music have long inspired each other.

But for our workshop, we simply asked kids and their families to:

Come draw to the beat of a funky soundtrack and create a giant doodle.”

What happened next?

SEVEN provided a huge roll of paper, an assortment of art materials, and, of course, the music.  While local kids and their families drew anything their imagination – inspired by the music – might conjure.

A simple premise, drawing in this way gets some really interesting results. From the relaxed style to the collaborative nature of working onto one large sheet of paper, drawing to music is an easy and accessible creative technique.

Big Draw Disco Doodle

Do it yourself

What’s more, you don’t have to disco doodle in a group. You can just as easily doodle to music alone.

Simply line up a few of your favourite tracks (think variety: upbeat, melancholy, playful, serious, exotic, old, new, etc) and start playing around on a single sheet of paper or even in your art journal – SEVEN have found pastels are a great medium for doing just this. Happy doodling!

Preview evening invitation – Leigh Art Trail 2018

SEVEN is having a preview evening on Friday 8 June from 6pm-8pm at Venue 49.  We’d like to invite you to join us and take a look through our books, which this year have an estuarine theme.

There will be a selection of venues also open on the evening, so you can meet other artists and enjoy a mini preview trail with a few drinks and nibbles.

7 Things We Learnt at Village Green Schools’ Day

Metal’s Village Green arts and music event in Chalkwell Park is always preceded by a day dedicated to school kids – Village Green: Next Generation. And, this year – #VG17 – SEVEN collective was asked to take part as artist stall-holders.

Seeing as Metal have been kindly hosting our creative journal workshops for a wee while, we thought sharing some of our idea-generating techniques with local school kids was the least we could do. Eeeek!

This is what we learned:

1. Be prepared

Not just for scouts or evil lions (see the Lion King for details) getting to the park for 7:45am demanded organisational and timing skills the A-Team would be proud of.

2. Don’t get stall envy

Everyone’s Village Green stall looked glitzier than ours. Branding. Banners. Colourful whatnots. You name it, we didn’t really have it. Just us and our arty stuff. Would we be overlooked or dismissed out of hand? (See point 4).

3. Locate the coffee

See point 1. The early start plus fear of the unknown (aka children) required at least one caffeine hit. Thus, locating the Village Green coffee stand was an essential part of the set-up.

4. Proximity to the loos can be advantageous 

And, not for the reason you think. But because teachers and kids using the facilities checked us out. On their way to the loos. As they waited by the loos. On their way back from the loos. Or while lost and looking for the loos.

5. Keep calm & carry on (ideally with glitter)

As wave after wave of primary school kids and their teachers came to check out our art tables – think: mandala collage, collective doodling, and swing tag-making – it was all we could do to just muck in and make the most of it.

More gems you say? Certainly. Lost your prized sunglasses? We’ll help you find them. Want pictures of cars for your mandala collage? Coming up.

6. Kids do come out with some words of wisdom

Don’t know where to start with your art? “I just scribble ’til I think of something,” one boy told us, while getting stuck into our free range doodle roll.

And, sure enough, after a scribble or two he warmed up and started doodling like no business.

7. Our top tip: change shape

Something we found went down a treat with our mini artists was mandala collaging. Turns out eschewing the ubiquitous rectangle for a circle can help overcome placement anxiety – there’s no right or wrong way.

All in all

Village Green: Next Generation had a lot to teach us. Surprising. Rewarding. A little hot. And, at times, a bit overwhelming. But, hey, there’s nothing like learning by doing, right?!

And, we all slept very well afterwards… Thanks to Metal for the opportunity.

Keep up with SEVEN

Remember to check out our latest art work and follow our creative adventures over on Instagram.

You can also sign up to our mailing list to keep in the SEVEN loop.

SEVEN at Leigh Art Trail 2017 – the facts, figures + the private view

SEVEN at Leigh Art Trail 2017After months in the making SEVEN’s creative journals are full to bursting with ideas and ready to go on display at Leigh Art Trail 2017!

But what we really need now are some lovely folk – friends, art lovers, curious-types, young and old – to come and peruse our colour-filled, collage-covered creations and get inspired.

Yes, we mean you.

WHERE: Planet Leasing, 91-93 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 1JL

WHEN: Saturday 10th June – Saturday 17th June 2017

OPEN: Saturday 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday 9am-6pm (Sunday closed)

PRIVATE VIEW: Want to meet some of the SEVEN crew and indulge in a tipple and nibble or two? Then we’d love to have your company.

Come along on:

  • Thursday 15th June
  • 6-8pm

Everybody’s welcome!

PS – Check out LeighArtTrail.com for more info on over 80 artists, exhibiting in 52 venues across Leigh, over 8 art-packed days. Including our very own Amanda Jackson and Kerry Doyland – they’re so talented they’re in it twice!