Everyone at Cherry Orchards takes part in art workshops, both for fun and to develop self-awarness. There are examples of two here:

Blowing and painting eggs

You will need:
  1. Wash and dry an umblemished hen or duck egg - run lightly under a tap and dab dry with kitchen tissue.
  2. Take the egg in one hand and the pin in the other. If you are right-handed, hold the egg in your left hand.
  3. Hold the pin so that the tip just touches the top of the egg, find a place where the pin engages with the surface of the shell and push. You may need to angle the pin slightly. The pin should pierce the shell.
    egg blowing
  4. Very carefully use the pin to pick away the shell around the hole until it is a few millimetres across. The larger the hole the easier egg blowing will be.
    egg blowing
  5. Place a finger over the hole and turn the egg over. Make a hole in the other end.
    egg blowing
  6. Remove your finger from the hole and hold the egg above the bowl between your thumb and forefinger. Some insides should start to come out. If not, turn the egg over.
    egg blowing
  7. Whilst holding egg over the bowl, places mouth over top hole and blow.
    egg blowing

    The contents of the egg should come out, though this may take several breaths. If the yolk gets stuck then insert the pin and move it round inside the egg.

  8. Once it is blown, run the shell under a cold tap. Place a finger over the bottom hole, and allow the egg to fill with water, shake the egg and expel the water. Allow the egg to dry.
  9. When decorating the egg, hold it at either end, or place a stick or knitting needle through both holes. Be patient while painting; paint takes longer to dry on an egg than on paper, and it is easy to spoil your design by smudging the other colours.
  10. When your egg is finished, you can hang it up by taking a length of cotton and a half matchstick. Tie the cotton or string tight around the middle of the half matchstick. Push the matchstick into the hole in the top of the egg and jiggle it about until it gets stuck inside. Painted eggs look good hung up on branches or in windows.

People often ask what to do with the contents of the egg. The answer is, use it in cooking. There is no proof that blown eggwhite and yolk can pass on germs, provided they are cooked properly. If you are planning on decorating eggs it is a good idea to do some cooking at the same time. Or if you are doing some cooking, blow the eggs rather than cracking them, and save them for when you want to do some egg painting.

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Watercolour painting workshop

Purpose of the workshop:

This workshop uses paint to help people think about opposites and associated feelings . It is particularly suitable for people who do not think of themselves as artists.

Group work before starting to paint:

Before starting the workshop, think of a subject and its opposite, and objects to represent both. Also think of an event or situation that connects to both: a look through a newspaper or magazine may help you come up with ideas. Also choose four paint colours you think are suitable. Some ideas for subjects and objects

Life and deathDandelion flowers and seed headsThe Christian Easter story
Hope and despairSeeds and dead sticksIllness
Light and heavyStones and feathersEnvironmental issues
Hot and coldBurning candles and ice cubesHuman communities in extreme climates
Shiny and darkCompact discs and scraps of black clothExcitement and boredom
  1. Introduce the subject to the group but don’t tell them about the event or situation yet. Ask them to look at the objects. This should be done individually, and not as a group discussion. Objects (such as flowers and seed heads) may be in situ, or can be brought into the workshop room to be looked at.
  2. After everyone has had enough time to look at and think about the objects, bring the group together and talk about how the objects are like the two opposites you have chosen for the workshop. In the featured example, participants said the dandelion flowers were like life because they were bright, beautiful, spread outwards, and faced the sun. The seed heads were more like death because they were grey and weak and seemed to look inwards.
Painting part 1

At the end of this section, each group member should have a made a picture with an abstract representation of the objects and ideas, the contrasting ideas being in different halves of the paper. Allow about 15 minutes for this section.

This workshop uses “wet on wet” painting. This technique is not about making an accurate representation of something. It is about expressing thoughts and feelings on paper, and letting the combination of paint, paper, brushes and water be part of the creative process, not just tools under your control. Encourage group members to try not to have an idea of what they want to paint, but to let the painting develop on its own.

  1. Thoroughly soak the paper in water. Some papers can tear or become transparent when soaked, so make sure you're using good thick art paper.
    soaking the paper
  2. Shake excess water from the paper, but make sure it is still evenly wet all over.
  3. Hand out the soaked paper, brushes and paint palettes.
  4. Apply paint to the paper using a brush, fingers or whatever you like.
    soaking the paper
  5. Group members should paint one half of the sheet to represent the two contrasting ideas. In the featured example, one half was life and flowers (red and yellow) and the other half was death and seed heads (blue and indigo).
    The first stage of the painting process
  6. The paint will spread out on the wet paper and mix in with other colours. This should inspire the idea of where to apply the paint next.
  7. Encourage each person in the group to concentrate on their own painting and not to compare their painting with what anyone else is doing. It may help to have the relevant objects available during the painting section.
Painting part 2

Allow more time for this section.

  1. Lay the paintings out so everyone can see them.
    The paintings at the end of the first stage
  2. There should not be too much discussion at this stage, but everyone should have a chance to see how each other has approached the painting process.
  3. Introduce the event or situation you have chosen and ask group members to alter their paintings to represent it. In the featured example, some people made the blue / indigo section into the tomb, others made the flower section into a representation of resurrection.
    Altering a painting
  4. At the end, lay the pictures out again and allow people to explain their work if they want to.
    Paintings at the end of the workshop