Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists. I nearly said thriving artists. They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity. I digress…..
Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people. We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between. Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties. We are lucky enough that the local Museum is currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse. Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.
To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me. But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too, the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.
Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world. You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.
My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!
Studying Art Process
One of my artist friends who trained on the Access Course at my local College was Rachel Markwick. For some time she had been painting and explored her craft further on the course. We had so much fun it was a truly bonding experience for us mature students.
But simply wanting (and trying) to progress in the art world is often not enough. For each of us it is a different process and often time has to pass, where creativity takes us to both good and bad places, and may be quite a balancing act where there are commitments other than just a desire to be creative.
From Painting To Collage with Stamps
Then a few years ago Rachel’s creativity took on a completely different look involving her inherited collection of stamps.
From Van Gogh’s sunflowers and hilly scenes of Stroud emerged the Stamp Lady of Stroud.
There is a story behind the use of stamps in Rachel’s work, but to fast forward somewhat she makes clever, endearing and detailed images from stamps from all over the world. From ships to owls, and from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to International flags there is so much detail right down to the fish in the sea and the people in the arches of the Colosseum.