ARMCHAIR TRAVELLING...IN THE 21ST CENTURY
We seem to live in an uncertain world, where the news on TV is so often disturbing and stomach churning. Here on Norfolk Island, the past few months have been somewhat tense and unsettled, as we deal with political difficulties without and within, plus an economic downturn that has forced us to tighten our belts somewhat.
Nevertheless, it has also been a time to re-assess priorities, and to savour the good things and wonderful people around us. Life is full of wonderful experiences and opportunities right here on our doorsteps and at our fingertips.
And speaking of fingertips, I am incredibly thankful to live in the age of the Internet, emails, and more recently- blogging!
You see, even though I may not have taken a holiday for a couple of years, last night my fingertips took me to Spain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, England, Switzerland and the U.S.A. On my journey, I met many likeminded people, women of all ages who share passions and interests of mine in varying degrees. They welcomed me into their homes, introduced me to family and friends, shared secrets, advice, and aspirations, took me on a tour of their galleries and studios and workspaces, and allowed me to feast my eyes on their works of art and works-in-progress. From time to time, I was able to leave a comment in a "visitor's book". Within minutes an email reply came from a lady in England, whose stunning wallhanging I had admired. And she was asking for my help with a problem she was having in managing her blog. As I visited sites, I received directions and signposts to other sites and blogs that would please me and stimulate me.......and so my journey continued. Unexpectedly, I would find myself in the studio of someone whose name was familiar to me from books and magazines, people whom I almost regard as "gurus",and I would feel just so honoured to be right there, as it were, listening to them and learning about their own artistic journeys.
And when the hour was getting late, I just switched off and climbed into bed, and thought of all the wonderful treasures I had shared....and looked forward to going on another journey tomorrow evening.
I barely scratched the surface. Anytime I wish, I can take a tour to visit people who do Crazy Patchwork, Collage, Art dolls, Surface Design, Fibre and Textile arts, Beading, Mixed media Art, quilting, Creative Embroidery, and all sorts of other pursuits that delight my heart and eyes. Last night I visited just a few of the sites in the "Surface Design Webring." There are hundreds of blogs and websites out there, little galleries, shelters of sanctuary, welcoming studios, forums, personal exhibitions, Art Journals and diaries, open houses and at-homes, free tutorials and workshops, noticeboards...........a rich and welcoming interactive smorgasbord from the global community of artists and artisans and craftspeople. The internet has provided opportunities, not only to share and display one's work, but to receive satisfying feedback, and an instant and easy way of sharing and communicating with others who share your passion all over the world.
Deep down, I am conservative, nostalgic about the good old days, like the simple life, and am even a bit of a technophobe. But I count myself blest to live in 2006, where the world, particularly the creative world, is at my fingertips when I sit at my computer.