Learning New Stuff
For over a year now I have been engaged in learning new stuff. It has been challenging and scary and exciting and overwhelming and wonderful and so many more things. You face beginners mind every time that you enter into agreement with a mentor/teacher that you admire. Doubts creep in and that pesky ol monkey mind tries to make you question your right to even try....
My first ever course was with Pam de Groot in Australia. I thought that I would just jump right in!! I had only ever made a few wet felted cobweb scarves before going on that particular adventure! Closely followed by several courses with Fiona Duthie, Maria Friese and most recently Dagmar Binder.
(My pieces from courses with Pam de Groot, Fiona Duthie, Maria Friese, Nicola Brown, Dagmar Binder - Top Left to Bottom Right)
I feel incredibly blessed having met (online) these wonderful women and artists who agreed with me to share their time, space and extensive knowledge.
Following close behind that was the chance to meet so many other artists who like me were there to challenge and grow as artists and humans. We were, as a passionate collective, showing up together to get close to fibre and to tease out from our own creative hearts, ways of bringing to life our imaginings.
This year I want to let all of that experience settle in and percolate for a bit before I find my own voice. Lots of dreams and thoughts appear and I have to write them down or draw them before they disappear into the night!! Thanks to believing in my ability to learn, play and trust to new processes i can bring to life my doodles and dreams in so many different ways.
Through this learning I have also found new fibre rabbit holes to explore. At the ripe ol age of 50 I bought my first sewing machine and have explored my previous fears of impaling myself on the needle and in general making a mess!! One darning foot later and I am having a rare ol time!! Hand sewing and embroidery have also become an interest. Intuitively you can meander through new techniques and disciplines and see what fits you. You do not have to be an expert to dabble and create something absolutely extraordinary!
To that end I also took a rather wonderful course with Nicola Brown from Clasheen. She is an artist passionate about the natural environment and how we can create whilst looking after it, more specifically through eco printing without the traditional mordants. This course led me to study natural dyeing processes and how not to poison our beautiful world for the sake of colour.
So I do have one more course to complete..... a botanical printing course with Jane Dunnewold. My heat press is awaiting future shenanigans!!!
Learning changes you, gives you self belief, more ways of expressing what is inside and great joy at the play held within creativity. Never think that you cannot do it, or give in to the fear that you will not to be an expert in whatever you are interested in so why bother start.
Use the phrases I AM a wet felter! I AM a eco printer! I AM a sewer! And believe that what you are driven to say through what you make or create is relevant and beautiful in only the way that you can express it. Believe.