Saturday Art Challenge


Creating Images from the Imagination

Welcome back to another Saturday Art Challenge.

This week’s creative writing class online was all about The Secret Garden and creating imagery using our imagination and observation.

Using the lovely visual language of art we can often bring together feelings about places by sketching out themes and ideas from memory. This is also a good task for observational drawing, if you sketch a place from memory and then go and compare your sketch to reality, you really begin to take in all the detail and start to give more thought to full observation.

When I make imaginative art I love to collage scrap materials and junk that I have found (this is especially good in the spirit of St Nick’s recycling and eco-friendly theme!)

So this week’s task is all about re-using and re-cycling to create a piece of art evoking a feeling from our imagination.

This week I was inspired by a camomile tea box and an invoice from a gardening firm that had a beautiful design on the back:

I was inspired thinking about Secret Gardens. I love tangled leaves, tree canopies, undergrowth and wild places. When I started to create my art I was thinking about beautiful overgrown gardens which are full of wildlife.

I was also thinking about a picture I took of the Herb Robert and the beautiful leaf shapes of the plant. I drew out half a leaf on the back of a piece of card and then scored the card down the middle so that I could create a symmetrical shape when I cut it out.

In the end I didn’t complete quite as intricate shape as these leaves, but I might go on to make some similar to these.

Once I had my shapes cut out I started to arrange them on a page in my note book. I wasn’t interested in creating a polished picture, it was more about evoking a feeling. I began to add in other scraps of paper and interesting cut outs. The next thing that I want to add are images of my favourite birds – goldfinches. To do this I have found some pictures in an old bird book that I will copy and print to collage in at another time.

So this is my work so far! A messy page of cut outs and torn paper, but I love the vibrancy and colour and this may inspire a painting at some point. Once I have added birds and more images I will upload the final collage ‘sketch’ in a couple of weeks. So here is your weekend challenge:

Task: Your weekend challenge is to find recycled goods, paper and patterns to collage into an imaginative picture evoking a feeling or memory of a natural space. The nice thing about collage is that we don’t have to worry too much about making an accurate line – you can tear, cut, rip and stick and have fun arranging the pieces until it feels right.

I hope that you have fun and enjoy this task. I would love to receive images of your results if you feel like sharing them with me (just check out my contact details for where to send in the website header).

I have a lovely poem about wild flowers which will be posted out on Monday. Next week’s Creative Writing class will be on the theme of goldfinches and wild birds. See you then! (Please also feel free to leave a comment if you want to let me know how you got on with this task.)

Take care.

With best wishes,


Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge ( and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York ( for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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