Thursday, July 14, 2011

Community Threads tapestries Day One

I was totally impressed with the paintings that were produced by the guild members and guests of the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners, most of whom do not consider themselves artists. I agree wholeheartedly with Picasso who said that everyone is an artist. So many of us have heard so many negative messages about art, about making art, and were well trained to focus our energies and talents into other domains. But if you take a minute to recall your childhood, remember how easily we engaged in the activity of making pictures and how freely we did it. This session was about disconnecting from our critical voices and freeing ourselves to freely make marks on the paper connected to our theme - images that represented community.

People selected mostly photographs they had taken from the the municipality that are representative of the community. Some people also sought out other sources such as magazines and the internet as other themes that represented community were lacking. We've decided to have another painting day next Thursday July 21 10am to 1pm. Eventually these paintings will be translated into designs for 12 tapestries that we hope will hang in different venues in the municipality with an accompanying self guided tour brochures. This suggestion was from Angela Drainville, the Executive Director of the Gibson Centre. She also gave us the title of the project which we felt was very appropriate.

After a brief lesson on design and application of the paints, we got started, hesitantly at first, but before we knew it people were creating amanzing results. Janet Fayle said " I didn't believe I could do it!" When Donna Beatty was done, she said it was ''uplifting" and Allanah Bishof said that painting made her feel good. Mattie Sullivan enjoyed painting with a group and that this was stimulating for her and generated a lot of ideas. She made reference to really being able to get into the 'flow' that happens in painting and being creative. Libby Hoffman was interested in how the painting could apply to her weaving and Gail Sheldon agreed. Painting has many applications for the weaver as a source of colour inspiration for fabric, spinning and dyeing. It will give you ideas about combining colours that you may never have thought of combining before. Valerie wasn't too sure about how she felt about painting but she said she would do it again which is a great sign. In addition, what she was able to produce was remarkable and showed no sign of her uncertainty. Linda Needles felt she'd rather be knitting which, since she was painting madly away, showed what a good sport she is and a team player! Thanks Linda! We had a few experienced painters in the group that joined us as well: Barbara Huson, Carol and Joan (sorry....didn't get last names). Carol and Joan helped some of the novices with the application of paint. We appreciated their input and contribution.

This project is made possible by the generous contribution of the Ontario Arts Council and many volunteer hours and donations.

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