You've heard the old saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade". Well, it can be said that in the past 2 years there have been a lot of lemons handed out. It didn't take long before the world's creatives pulled out their lemonade recipes and began to adapt new recipes. This meant that a lot of new online opportunities sprung up for artists to share worldwide. Teaching artists managed to go online and teach from studios in Canada to students in Australia. Groups of artists, like the 7 Works Collective, connected online to inspire and support each other. Galleries created online exhibitions with zoom meet & greets.
I have, throughout, the pandemic taken advantage of many of these online workshops and exhibitions offered in many locations. The most recent is a FUN project that is being hosted by Blue Monkey Network in conjunction with Edgeland Modern out of the UK. It will be "displayed" progressively on Instagram through the month of May. Artists were asked to create a work of art on the back of a used envelope. They say that doodling on throw away materials, like an envelope, allows for spontaneity with fewer inhibitions. Keep your eye on Instagram for the reveal.
You may notice that my entry above combined the envelop with the stitching and paint techniques that I learned in a previous online workshop.
Every year I like to kick it off with something just a wee bit different. This year I signed up for a free sample workshop with TextileArtist.org If you have ever been curious about fiber art check out this website. They offer some amazing workshops from some extremely creative textile artists. The workshop I enjoyed was give by textile artist and author, Gwen Hedley. She showed us her process to paint on fabric, dissemble then re-assemble the fabric by stitching it back together. After that she demonstrated how she embellishes her work with hand embroidery, backing it and edging it for a finished look.
This kind of work is not completely outside of my comfort zone, I'm a lifelong sewer, but it's been years if not decades since I have done any hand embroidery. Combining it with paint brought it right into my zone of comfort. I think I will be bringing this process to some of my work on paper. Below is a sample of what I did in the workshop.
I am preoccupied by the intuitive journey that paint takes me on with its colour and texture when working with layers that can be revealed through scratching back, rubbing away or lifting, to bring back the history of the previous layers.