Of course there are virtual networks, a related article was mentioned by an art colleague recently through our 'linked' connection. It's a 1991 speech that John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) gave about being creative, including his comments on giving yourself space and time, it's posted on the great web journal 'brain pickings'. This same colleague is also a contact in a 'real world network' which is helping several artists, including myself, keep our creative juices flowing. We are participating in a sketchbook collaboration between artists linked to South Hill Park Arts Centre here in 'the grey zone'. Each month we swap back and forth our sketchbook with nominated artists, this type of collective has been around for awhile but its the first time I've been involved in one.
|Jan Gaska's drawing (left) and my collage response (right)|
I decided to use my sketchbook to do some collage work, which I enjoy but have done little of recently, and drawing as a response to the collage. I didn't share this description with my first swap partner, painter-printmaker Jan Gaska, so I was quite intrigued to get my book back at the start of February and see how he'd responded. I saw a comment he posted on twitter saying he "doesn't normally do collage but was quite pleased with the results" and he should be, they're wonderful. Within just a few days of getting the book back I wanted to find the time to respond to both his drawing and wonderful collages. This Sketchpad collective will be just one way I'll be sustaining my creative life this year.
|Jan Gaska's collage (left) and my drawn response (right)|
One of John Cleese's ingredients for being creative is to give your self space, regular readers of this blog will know this has been a challenge for me and others in 'the grey zone'. I have decided to take the plunge and invest in a purpose built 'art studio' at the end of the garden, future posts to follow on this subject. I have also been told recently of an artist planning to set-up a new studio complex with the potential for 14 affordable and easily accessible studios in Wokingham. If your reading this and want to know more about a space get in touch, I'll help make the network connection!