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Ellen Nobel at the Drumheller Public Library

Thirteen participants engaged with Into the Badlands artist Ellen Nobel during a two and a half hour workshop at the Drumheller Public Library March 24, 2018. Below is a description of the workshop activities.


Everyone can make art.  Examples found of ancient cave paintings tell us that we’ve been making art since the beginning. Art making is one of the earliest activities that children love to do.  Art gives us pleasure—both making art and even just looking at art.

Guided face: The featured artist will guide participants, pen stroke by stroke, to draw the head of a person. Everyone will draw the same one, with black felt marker on white paper. Then each participant will color, decorate, and write about their person: what the name might be, where did she come from, what does she do, what does she like, what kind of a person is she? Does she have a big family? And anything else they want to add.

Scribble drawing:  With one pencil crayon of a darker color of their choosing, each participant freely draws a scribble over their sheet of paper. Participants will then quietly look at their page for a few moments and see if a shape seems to emerge from within the marks. They then will ‘flesh out’ that image by adding other colors and decorations. The idea is not that they adhere religiously to the lines of the page, but that the lines have suggested a form that is meaningful to the artist, who will do whatever they need to to embellish that form.

Apple tree:   With color pencils, participants will draw a picture of themselves picking apples from a tree. Things to consider: How big is the tree compared to you? How many apples did you draw on the tree—why that amount and not less/more? How many apples have you already picked in your picture? Did you draw the environment (grass, sky, sun, other trees) or is the page blank—why? What might the environment tell you? Did you draw yourself with tools—such as a ladder or long handle? Was it easy/difficult to pick the apples? If the apples and tree were a symbol, what would it be for you?