Sunday, January 29, 2012

Art prompt #4:an art supply swap could lead to bigger things.

This week's art prompt was to swap supplies or art materials with a friend to spark new ideas.  I like this idea and I decided to take the idea one step further by swapping studio time and expertise as well.  One of my favorite things to do is to visit other artists' studios and be invited to join in a creative process. It reminds me of a woman's quilting bee. Cups of hot steeped tea washing down the energetic gosssip as many hands converge to create a piece that is more than itself.  When you share your inspiration with others, art becomes more than the product.  It becomes a story woven with the wisdom of many others.

With that thought in mind, myself and two aunties converged on my mother's studio a few weeks ago.  We all came with our own baggage: photos, papers, maps, paints, drywall mud and ink.  We also came with varying levels of art experience, none more valid than the other's. I managed to create this piece using art supplies I would never have thought of combining on my own: drywall mud and india ink.

My mom shared her expertise with textured fresco board.  One of my aunties broke out the India Ink along with her ability to be fearless.  She coaxed us into washing black ink over our boards (scary!). She continued by throwing in some maps and drawing her designs in an unforgiving and permanent ink. No such things as mistakes! I read once that a mistake is merely a suggestion of another way to go. At the end of the day all of our projects were wildly different and original from each other. They were also held together with a common thread: our willingness to be together and a mutual passion to be creative.

I'm thinking trading art supplies can be beneficial to any creative group.  Why not trade your basket of stash yarn with a fellow knitter at your next stitch n' bitch?  Or trade a quilted square with another quilter ? Share your art supplies, but also... don't be afraid to share your experience and passion with others!  Throw open your studio doors, put the kettle on and say welcome!

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