Now the half term break is upon me, I sit and think about how much I have learned since starting the course.

I have gone from being a practical, creative person, filling needs of my family or home on a daily basis – to embracing physical and mental creativity. I am learning so much, every day I am practising in one way or another, blogging, essay writing, sketching, painting, printing, charcoal, ink, wax…. the list just goes on.

All of my projects are listed in previous blogs and I intend for this post to be a reflection on my own feelings so I will not add pictures today.

I am still confused as to what exactly Contemporary Art is and whether I am meeting the standards. From what I can conclude from my research, its a bit of an odd bag of beans – it encompasses most art concepts – I am not even 20% certain it is necessarily a genre of its own but more an all inclusive term to mean ‘new art’ , art which incorporates a little from several genres rather than one on its own, mixed media, styles and perspectives perhaps. Am doing what is required of me?, What is actually required of me? Am I a contemporary artist?. I accept I am creative, able to think outside the box and imaginative – but I am totally thrown as to whether being a person who is keen to explore, learn and grow is enough?

Am I being taught to be an artist? No. This course is not about becoming an artist – It is about learning how to make my creativity work for me! This is the underlying truth, I am not learning how to create art, I am learning how to apply my creativity in practise, how to make a living from my artistic streak and I am very grateful I’m not scared of colour, shapes, new media nor am I scared to look silly if it all goes a bit awry; it can always be repaired or turned into something else.

I am conflicted within myself right now, and having so many talented people in the group who not only already practised a genre of art, but have perfected it; I do feel a little bit out of my depth at times.

The final stretch is here, My essay is complete, my presentation is done, I have lived through harsh critiques, been comforted by softer ones from the rest of the group, I have aided with a communal art event, I am learning to draw, sketch, paint, use digital media, print & work with fabric beyond its usual practical purposes. I arrived in September with a ‘fashion & textiles/ interior design’ label – mostly by chance as I had spent the last few years restoring or decorating furniture and making things like curtains or cushions for my home, more out of necessity than actual enjoyment – certainly on the fabric side – I am less interested in making soft furnishings than I thought, I enjoy having created something that I needed but which fills my needs and no-one else has, but I am not really interested in mass producing textiles for the home. I also practise dressmaking, and want to spend a little more time working on it, but again, more for personal reasons, like knowing my daughter has her own , one off prom dress that she can enjoy and have a say in how its made.

Furniture and decorating interior spaces is more me, I love colour. I want a room to reflect what’s going on it it, My lounge is a calm ‘Willow green’ with 3 walls in a grey colour I mixed myself, its calm, relaxed and full of quirky things that make me smile…. My kitchen is entirely different, 1 wall is pink, the second a deep blue, the two other kitchen walls are horizontally striped with a mix of several colours – left overs or tester pots, its lively and fun.

I enjoy producing prints digitally and paintings as they mimic the idea of my using colour to provide something solid. Similar to the feeling of refurbishing furniture 🙂

I would like to try ideas that display a practical use to a my work, and I did have the mind to go see the artists in residence about laser cutting my ‘sewing scene’ into wood, with the thought it would look great as the lid to a sewing box or ottoman , unfortunately this is not something that could be arranged at this point, hopefully I may have opportunity yet.

I have learnt in essence that I am less textiles than I believed. I am leaning slightly into digitally produced art, even if its just a means to an end, helping me focus on what I wish to produce physically, it gives me results I can amend until I find the right way to portray a piece of work, much like Henri Matisse or Auguste Rodin who used cut outs to see how things looked and then either traced, repeated or glued down once they found the desired scene. In this age of technological advances, I feel it is important not to discount it as a valuable resource. I do not wish to produce only digital art but I will embrace it as an option or means to an end.

This afternoon I am going to try some collage and decoupage at home – with the topic of home still on the agenda. I have touched a little on these styles but not enough to say if this is an area I want to explore or incorporate further, I do feel it has a place yet within my process of producing work. I may also look at printing as I have produced some pleasant results from this media and I feel it warrants more practise for the same reasons 🙂

On the whole I feel that I have taken in a huge amount of information,and there is always more to read and hear. I really enjoy researching. I will not fret so much about me being an artist or not. I will simply apply myself to the creation I am producing at the time and allow my creativity to display itself where it is best portrayed. Doubt about my abilities will always be there but I have moved past the idea that I should be an artist and am embracing the idea that this course is here to show me how to apply my creativity in a positive, confident and individual way.


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