Saturday, July 22, 2006

Living on an island does not mean you have to become "insular" and isolated from the sort of social and cultural activities that enhance your life and broaden your horizons.
Far from it.
This week we have had the pleasure of not one, but two very creative ladies sharing inspirations, techniques and expertise with us in the fields of mixed media art and textile art.
Last weekend, we did a workshop over four days with mixed media artist Carolyn Stephens from Wanganui in New Zealand. This was organised by our very active Community Arts Society and was held in the School Art room (while school was conveniently on vacation!)
About twelve of us had a real ball experimenting with paper, paint, beeswax, glues, and found objects. On the final day....a full Sunday...we actually produced a book, each choosing our own theme. What a great sense of achievement.
Typically, I chose to explore some family heritage stuff. I still have to produce the wording that will make it meaningful, but I am really pleased with most of my efforts, as well as admiring those of the other participants.
The best part about these workshops is the opportunity to forget the daily routine and cares, and just PLAY. In fact, I think that having a sense of fun and play really frees you up. Taking trying something new, when you are not sure how it will turn out....often enables you to produce your best work. The surprise results can be the best part. Although I must admit that a couple of my sample experiments will be ending up at Waste Management!
As I slapped on layer after layer of paint, tore into papers, and glued things into unlikely arrangements, I kept telling myself "It is only doesn't matter what happens."
As with all "play", one ends up feeling refreshed, stimulated and physically weary at the same time. And there are wonderful lessons to be learned for life....such as "Do not be afraid of the unpredictable" and "Take risks to get the best out of life" and "Learn to see the possibilities in unexpected things".
In the next posting I will tell you about the wonderful time some of us have had "playing" with Holly Nuttley, who is a textile artist from Western Australia.

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