I have come to realize that after almost 50 years of drawing, painting, collage, quilting, textile art and Fiber Art, I still have a lot to explore!
I recently ran my 2nd annual Fiber Art Retreat and while I had an intense programme planned for my students ( all of which had attended the 1st retreat) it soon became clear that what I learned from them was just as exciting and innovative!
From the very first morning they were filled with things that they had discovered while exploring the techniques I had exposed them to last year. They came with their samples and ideas for new pieces ready to build into even more exciting things.
They truly were a breath of fresh air!
We talked about our life experiences and how without knowing it at the time they WILL show up in your art. Each of us could relate to a situation that we depicted in our work. Sometimes it was therapeutic, other times it was venting anger and often times is was meloncholic.
I tried to relay to them that although it was informative to explore things on the internet such as techniques it could also be very discouraging. How many times have you looked at an artists work and immediately decided that you could never be that good? Many times I have been excited about visiting a gallery only to become so intimidated and feeling like my own work was not worth the time I put into it.
You only need to look around, notice the things at your finger tips, the things in your life, your own backyard! Paint, draw, sew, write for YOURSELF! You ARE the artist!
It took me years to verbally say out loud that I was an artist. It wasn't my job. It wasn't because I had the papers to prove it. It was because I felt like an artist! I am an artist!
Yes, appreciate the things you read in books, magazines. Enjoy what you see on You Tube or Pinterest, but use your own knowledge, your own experiences, your own visions. Don't be afraid to celebrate your talent. Every piece you make will be a work of art. Your work of art. You don't need to justify it or even explain it. Not everything has to scream with a story. Let the viewer make up their own story. Every piece should tell two stories......yours and theirs!