Last week I had the privilege and pleasure of spending the week learning alongside 7 other wonderful women . . . Lucy Worsley and 6 other workshop participants on “Stitch it together with collage” organised by Fibre Arts New Zealand. I took the workshop as a challenge . . . collage is not my strong point by any means although I’m a dab hand on the sewing machine and recently I’ve enjoyed hand stitching as well.
At first I struggled because I was looking at the image more than the colour and texture it would impart to a background. Once I shifted my way of viewing the materials I had on hand I began to explore abstracts based on a cruciform composition.
What I ended up with was a series of three images where I was able to incorporate my love of topographical maps and texture.
Topography Series #1
Topography Series #2
Topography Series #3
So what have I learned? Listen to feedback and then decide for yourself what to do, step back, sleep on it, return and decide. Pare back . . . less is sometimes more, don’t allow a desire to use materials to swamp good design, in short, let materials speak for themselves.
I felt so encouraged when the first of the series sold as it hadn’t occurred to me to offer it as this was an exploration at a workshop however another participant loved it. So there is was at the showing with all the work from the other workshops with a little red dot . . . how happy was I! Before I left #2 and #3 were also sold . . . Goal #1: ‘To make work so appealing and interesting that people would want to own it’ achieved.
Happy, happy, happy! Now, to work towards Goal #2 . . . I’ll let you know what it is when I achieve it.
Life has been very busy but still I managed to squeeze in a little time to doodle . . . not a lot of time but at least it was regular.
I often work with teachers and students to develop SMART goals: Specific, measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Timeframe. On this occasion I made one for myself. Often my goals are achievable but unrealistic so this time I kept to the KISS principle and Kept It Simple Sweetheart! My goal was to do a very small doodle a day for a month . . .OTD stands for On The Day. There were only 5 occasions when I was late so I feel really good about the other 25. Why would I beat myself up about the 5 late ones?
Not long after I began this, Violette Clarke was encouraging everyone to do Messy Art Daily for much the same reasons . . . a little and often is the trick.
I’ve also attended a conference in Auckalnd recently and managed to squeeze in some creative work there as well. I seldom take notes because I know I won’t refer to them again. I tend to listen intently, perhaps jot down some key words or references and follow up with reading more on the subject later . . . this time I doodled as I listened, pages and pages in my Black and White Journal!
When I go away I take a minimum of materials. The Doodle a Day needed just some pens and one Copic Marker (the damn thing bled through the page, most annoying!) however my watercolour crayons and pencils smuggled a ride along with a small Moleskine and spray bottle.The pencil-case is one of several that I made recently after borrowing Alisa Burke’s book, Canvas Remix, from the library.
So, how do your squeeze in some creative time when you’re run off your feet?