Making connections for me is all about people, both those I know and those I haven’t yet met. My membership in Artists’ Workshop keeps me associated with a group of fellow artists with similar artistic desires. Not that we paint, draw, stitch, or glue in the same way, but we all want: the support of each other, the opportunity to work together on a regular basis and an annual joint show. This commitment to each other provides the opportunity to grow artistically and develop personally as we meet, discuss, grow and challenge each other’s ideas.
Teaching at Hues Art Supply has allowed me to pursue many ways and methods of learning, drawing and painting. I have met some wonderful people in these classes and am honoured to be a part of their artistic journey. As a lifelong learner I continue to take classes, as a deliberate practice, to motivate myself to get better, and to find alternate ways of presenting core ideas in artistic development. The fact that we all learn differently has always been one of the challenges I’ve embraced in my decades of teaching.
My own art has been of more and less importance in the various stages of my life. However, I believe practicing any art form makes us better people. It can bring joy, connections, and personal satisfaction into our lives.
I believe all art forms are connected and over the decades I have explored many. I started out in batik in the 70’s, which led to needing better photography skills to capture the images I wanted to portray. Portrayal of the images led to needing better drawing skills so birds actually looked like birds! As an adult I’ve practiced drawing on my own and through life drawing classes. Drawing the human figure can teach us everything we need to know about proportion, perspective and form. For a while I was passionate about making paper from natural fibers which led to making hand bound books. I segue off into print making on occasion and recently borrowed a printing press. I’ve painted in water colour, oils and acrylics, and have recently been exploring abstraction and mixed media. My joy is painting outside ‘En plein air’, however, winters are long.
Being an artist is exploring one’s connection with oneself. I find abstraction complex as I search within myself to determine how I feel, how to represent feelings and how to trust myself and my own mark making skills. I’m so used to having many things on the go that the solitude and quietness needed for abstraction is a foreign way of life. I have had some success in this area but have a long way to go. Shutting down my thinking brain so I can express what’s internal is a challenge I may always struggle with. The rewards are always worth it.