# 10: Being my Authentic Artist Self
My strategy for strengthening and developing my artist self:
- Keep ‘turning up’ to my room every day, even for just 10 minutes on days when I have ‘other’ responsibilities and commitments.
- Continue using my journal for long, medium and short term planning. This is something I recently started doing and it is proving very productive for me in terms of ensuring I use my time to the best advantage for me. It keeps me focused, on track and constantly checking and adjusting priorities and tasks.
- Edit my Personal Profile statement
- Continue to use the ‘free flow’ writing and writing with my non-dominant hand whenever I feel I need to think about what to do and/ or how to do. I feel I almost need to make this my default way of thinking, rather than ‘thinking’.
- Working through the exercises has brought me to finally hone in on what was raised in #4, my loves, passions and what stirs my curiosity.
I love exploring, ancient history, primarily how people lived and worked. I am especially curious about the women who so often had no voice.
I am also fascinated by landscape and how people have lived in, developed and changed it, especially those of old and ‘lost’ civilizations.
My project work is therefore much clearer and more specific in terms of content. I feel at last I have a tangible view and feel of I want to explore. This will form the core of my Building a Series
- When I thought in general terms about how I want and like to express my ideas, four words came to mind immediately, Drawing, Painting, Textiles and Writing.
In delving into explore how these would contribute and work for me I decided to ‘free flow’ my thoughts on each to establish their potential ‘role’ as it were.
Drawing I realised is not something I particularly enjoy as an end in itself, it’s a means of selecting and sketching ideas. So I have let go of the idea that I ‘should’ draw more. Painting pictures using acrylic, oils or water colour is again not something that grabs me, although I have defaulted to that because it is familiar. On the other hand, working with silk paint and dyes in fact any techniques which allow for a free flow and more unconstrained movement of colour I find much more interesting and satisfying. Another recent discovery is free machine stitching. I can draw and paint freely with that.
- Building a Series
I will work on silk and cotton(s) to create mixed media pieces, comprising silk paint, dye and acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium, creating further layers and textures with collage and free machine stitch. Weaving may well end up being included somewhere. We have been visiting Turkey now twice a year for 10 years. I absolutely love the rugged, mountainous landscape within which sit ancient remains of past civilizations. And the stunning blue of the sky and the sea, well, that is just something else. My first historical theme is based on Kayakoy, a ‘ghost town’ in SW Turkey. I am well into the sketching and planning stage and the accompanying image is a pastel draft of one of three houses for my first panel design. I am now ready to begin experimenting on fabric.
The final part of my new work plan is to establish a blog as a way of recording and sharing my process, final pieces and my writings based on the landscape and historical research motivating and inspiring my visual explorations. I have the blog, ‘Paint and Stitch’, ready set up to begin planning and drafting my first ‘sharing’. Further down the line I expect to then set up a website and a Facebook page to further promote my work.
This has been a great, practical course aiding the setting up of a solid ongoing creative practice. For the first time I feel I know where I am going and how to work on and explore potential ideas. In the past I really struggled with ideas emerging in my head, but always struggled to keep hold of and develop them over time, like butterflies, one would come, but then seemed to flutter off and disappear into the landscape or I'd find myself chasing around from idea to idea unable to settle and deveop one.