So I’m no longer the new girl in Ruth’s class – I’m happily settled for now into my once a month drive out, in Maud my campervan, into the rolling hills where Shropshire gently meets the Welsh borderlands.
We’ve finished all our experiments with Procion MX dye, and monoprinting on to fabric, and I spent January going it alone at my kitchen table, while the class took a winter hibernation break. I dyed habotai, and satin, organza and chiffon and other lovely fabrics that I ordered from Whaleys, who seem happy for a chat and to dispense advice to the fabric newbie.
Ruth has now moved us on to collage and Japanese tissues, and it was here where I started going off-road, with acrylic monoprinting and oil pastels and gelli plates and all manner of exciting materials, none of which were stitched related which felt slightly treacherous. No matter, colour is joy, and in February that is no bad thing.
So I digress. The thing is this. It’s all very lovely to play around and make deliciously free and happy little samples of work – and super important too, to collect this source material. But then what? At what point do I get to be a big grown-up artist? And how the hell does that happen?
Forever a Virgo, I got cracking with mind maps, reviews of my work, research in to galleries both here in Stroud, and in Bristol. This amount of non-artwork time was robustly resisted by my inner anarchist artist, so I had to sneak up on myself in my favourite cafe, fuelled by super strong hot chocolate (me and coffee is a Nightmare on Elm Street).
I will report my findings in my next post – the bridge between playing with art materials in glorious open ended, kitchen tabled fannying around, and stepping into ‘I totally take myself seriously as an artist and hot damn I’m on my way’…
Oooh, nervous laughter…