Summer is well underway and it's been a couple of weeks since I've been at my drawing board, something that always makes me a little jittery. We've had some wonderful art workshops in the studio, Jojo Humes Brown was a huge sell out success, as was Pop Print Summer Printmaking, both full houses and happy kids.
I love to see my studio come alive in the summer, exhibitions, visitors. Funnily enough, my favourite part is the set up and take down after a workshop. I love to see the transition my studio goes through when it moves from being my space, to all set up and ready to receive guests that come to learn something new - and then back again to my own space in which I make work.
I'm very much looking forward to our art workshops in Ipswich Hospital which begin in September. In preparation for these, I've been researching art & healing and thanks to the wonders of the internet I've found some amazing things. Thankfully art is now being recognised as one of the wonderful ways through which we can heal emotionally and sometimes physical distresses in our lives. Much of this is known in the world of mental health, but more and more it's reaching the physical too. Early days but organisations such as Arts, Health & Wellbeing Arts & Health in the South West to mention but two, are changing our perception on a national level. Hurray for that.
During my research I've found a programme which I am undertaking. It's called Healing With The Arts and it's quite something. I'm new to it and have so far only watched a few of the films, but like all good courses it's making me think differently.
I am an aesthetic artist. Trained to make work look beautiful for function, that is to hang in your house, or make your room look lovely - perhaps make you laugh. What I've never done is make work for the sake of it - from my tummy if you like. This course encourages that and quite frankly, I'm finding it uncomfortable. Thought provoking but uncomfortable for me.
As I am going to be encouraging creativity in those that are struggling with ill health, it's important that I to go on this journey - from beginning to who know's where and that, I think is the point - I have no idea where it will lead and as a visual artist stepping out, way out of my comfort zone I invite you to come with me.
I will be making my work, completing my commissions and continuing my normal practise, alongside this I'm going to give myself some time to this course and will post up my work as I go along.
Why not take the course with me? You can find it here and I'd love to know how you are getting on too.
Much love, Sam x
14th August (next day)
Here we are, my own go at working from my heart and not my head. Popping into my studio today with two bored children (it's the summer holidays after all) I gave them both jobs, one to paint up a sign that needs re-doing, another an old canvas that had been lurking around for far too long. Both painted away and enjoyed it, I began to see possibilities.
Once both children had gone off to their various dates, I took the canvas and began. Began by not thinking, just sploshing paint about. I wanted to see texture in the canvas so made sure to leave lumps & bumps - impasto paint.
I painted away not looking too much and letting my hand do the work and not my head - telling my story from my tummy, I enjoyed the process much more than I thought I would.