Michelle Ward hosts a monthly crusade at GPP. This past month was "I'm a Believer". I have taken part in a number of crusades in the past and felt this one shouldn't be missed.
Michelle listed a number of questions about life as an artist. She asked that we journal about our beliefs about art and being an artist.
Most of my life I never called myself an artist or felt that I was creative. I could copy very well. I have fond memories of drawing cartoon characters.
But then I discovered Haliburton School of Fine Arts and for 7 summers, I spent a week or two with my children there and we all took courses. I took courses in basketry, silk screening, design, collage, watercolour. It made me realize that I loved to create and needed to create. I continue to take courses as I can.
Here are the questions from Michelle:
"Tell us about the artist you are. Tell us in your own way the importance of being an artist - do you have a philosophy or are you just happy to be spending time making cool stuff.?"
As I said above I have a need now to create. I know that I need to develop more technical skills.
As a teacher for 30 years at the elementary level, I know art is crucial for children, especially those who struggle with reading. They are definitely focused on the journey, the process. I really believe children (and adults as well for that matter) need to create, to make things, to draw, to make messes, to have fun.
"Are you a perpetual student and/or workshop attendee? Or are you mostly self-taught?"
I have taken a number of courses and I will continue to do so. I follow certain blogs and take part in certain challenges and lessons.
"Do you participate in swaps?"
I take part in the swaps at "ATCsforall. I really enjoy creating ATCs. I have tried different techniques and many different challenges. Creating art on a small scale isn't as intimidating and the community is very supportive.
I also take part in numerous art challenges: Shadow Shot Sunday, ABC Wednesday, Wishcasting Wednesday, Skywatch Fridays, to name a few."Do you find time to work daily or do you squeeze in a precious few moments whenever you can? "
I try to create several times a week. I know I should be drawing daily to improve my skills but haven't the time. For the month of November, I want to take part in AEDM at Creative Every Day. It is a great challenge every year.
" Do you have a studio space or do you work at the dining table? "
A little of both. I am slowly creating my studio, although I still do art at the dining room table.
Tell us about what you do, have done, and aspire toward. Do you paint canvases? Make books? Make jewelry...ATCs...Ceramics...Knit? Our need to be creative usually spills into several arenas - let us know more about you by spelling it out for us on a journal page.
These are the journal pages I created. I really believe that art needs to be a big part of our lives.
I have always been involved in crafts - I have crocheted afghans, made Christmas ornaments and decorations every year, tried new crafts.
I especially enjoy now creating:
Zentangles, Collage Tags and Cards
These next few pieces were done with a watercolour course and watercolour/collage course done at Haliburton. Following an instructor made the challenge a bit easier. I would definitely love to do more watercolour.
Mixed Media Collage
This piece was created at another week long course here in Cambridge. I learned new techniques and the instructor kept pushing me to go further. Loved the final result - a homage to my Mom and her roots. This is the direction I would like to explore more of.
As I get closer to retirement (1-3 years), my dreams of spending more time creating get more and more real. When I grow up (or enter the next chapter in my life!) , I want to create daily and teach art to children. They are such a joy to work with.
As I look back on my journey, I need to acknowledge that, yes I am an artist, one who is still growing.