Staying busy; always prepping
I am happy to remain busy as an artist. I come and go – I find myself; I lose myself – I re-emerge. My focus as an artist has remained committed to my 2 upcoming shows at Burdall’s Yard, “Colours of Life,” starting in June, and at 44AD, tentatively titled “Frolics,” in October, although that focus is constantly meandering; sauntering through visions and ideas, and wondering what the next set of pieces will be – and for which show.
I focus on bodies. I focus on water. I focus on the colours in my garden. I bring them together, and I keep them apart. And I interrupt myself at the most necessary moments.
A Shibori interruption
I recently joined a Shibori workshop. Shibori is a Japanese form of tie-dying, whereby the fabric is neatly folded together and then clamped between two boards. The boards press the fabric together so tightly that the die cannot (or can barely) penetrate the fabric. By pouring the die along the edges of the fabric, on the folds, you are able to create solid lines and proper geometric shapes. There’s an added origami element to the process, which presents the artist with unique possibilities that can be planned more accurately than the more random process of traditional tie-dye.
The workshop was a nice interruption from my regular days. I find it inspiring every time I learn a new technique or style – I start imagining all the creations such strategies allow. I start thinking of ideas that weave Shibori into my plans for the upcoming shows.
Perhaps I can decorate parts of the gallery with Shibori fabrics. Maybe use them as table cloths or drapes or pillow covers. Perhaps it’s all too much – perhaps it’s not enough. Perhaps I’ll act on these ideas – perhaps not.
The Shibori session was a wonderful interruption.
Interruptions with you
A returned and recurring interruption – one I’ve really missed throughout the pandemic – is the return of my Wild and Wonderful Workshops. Now that the hustle of public life has been opening back up and getting ‘back to normal,’ I’ve been able to host two workshops over the last month, along with three special one-on-one sessions.
These are always so much fun. I love engaging people with line and colour, paints and brushes. It is an utter thrill to watch so many begin the afternoon with absolutely no confidence in their artistic selves but finish proud of the work they painted. There is always a sort of metamorphosis each person goes through, and that is probably the thing I like most about teaching these workshops: the rapid evolution of the artists all around me as they unleash their creativity.
“Hi Natalie – thank you for today, I really enjoyed it. Paul wants to frame both my pictures!
“It was so good to work in such a free and playful way. I loved the new techniques with mark-making, which produced such a good effect with relative ease. I loved using and playing with colour after weeks of black and white. This is my way of working!”
I happily have 4 more workshops booked in the coming weeks, and am getting very excited for the ongoing Wild and Wonderful Workshop series I am hosting at Burdall’s Yard with the first session on May 5th. This unique series offers varied sessions that can work individually or as complements to each other as part of a schedule. The Burdall’s Yard series runs May through to the end of July. For more info and tickets to the Burdall’s Yard workshops, please follow this link.
Sneak peaks: Inking it with fairies
If you follow the link to the Burdall’s Yard Wild and Wonderful Workshop, you will see that there are 3 dates at the end of July/beginning of August that are specifically for parents with their children. Working with children like this is something I plan to do more in the future.
Similar to the Wild and Wonderful Workshops, I will be launching an “Inking It” workshop where participants will develop their drawing skills and learn how to work with ink. I am in fact more excited for the kids’ version of this, “Ink Drop Fairies.” I cannot wait to teach children how to create art with ink. The methods, like wetting the paper to allow the ink to bleed or blowing through a straw to spread the ink across the page, will be so much fun for children to work with, and as a qualified teacher, I understand how to encourage creativity and expression.
I’m still developing the ink workshops, so please stay tuned for updates.
Finally, I have found myself happily being interrupted at Marshfield Screenprint. I have been expanding my screen-printing skills, and experimenting with the themes from my upcoming shows. I like the idea of being able to mass-produce items, making pieces much more affordable for the average viewer. I’m musing over this currently, allowing the possibilities to percolate through my imagination…
It is important to interrupt oneself when creating. I always find many reasons for interruptions. These moments allow for a breath of fresh air and perspective; a step back that allows you to step forward the next day with renewed energy and added motivation. Interruptions can be most necessary for these reasons.
Temporary interruptions: enough of a break to return to the task at hand with a larger appetite for making the work incredible. Follow me on Instagram for the latest news on my appetite and interruptions, and always keep your eye on My Story for the most complete updates!