I cannot praise this course enough, even after only one week. I do not know where it will take me eventually and I know I have masses still to learn so I'm being open minded but wow! The simple power of it!
I said in the last post that I'd tell you more about the people on the course. We're a bit like this:
In other words there are multiple ways to categorise us and most of us belong to more than one of those categories - hence the overlaps.
There are people in their 20's, 30, 40's and quite possibly 50's - maybe older. There are people who have graphic design qualifications and who work in that field; there are others who, like me, have no artistic background. One person said it never occurred to her she might want to have had previous artistic experience. There are single people and people in relationships. There are parents of babies and young children and parents of offspring who are gradually leaving the nest. I'm sure there are people who haven't had and never wanted children. There are a couple of legal professionals and others with work backgrounds unrelated to visual art (like me, a professional librarian). There are people working full-time and fitting this in and around. There are people who are doing this in an attempt to widen their portfolio of skills; others who want to redefine their working life; those who want or need a change of career; as well as those just doing it for interest and fun. One thing that does - as far as I can tell so far - unite us, is that we are all female.
But what is this simple power I talked of? I believe it is the power of community. And it is so unexpected.
At 14 I dutifully went to confirmation classes at chapel but was then able to be quite open about the fact that I had no sense of faith. There are two things I have always vaguely missed from my childhood upbringing in an actively Methodist household. Firstly the singing and secondly that sense of belonging and community. That sense of there being people around who were part of your wider network who were rooting for you, who were there for advice and were concerned for your well-being (please don't think me friendless though - I have some wonderful friends!).
And so it is with this course. Yes, there are the creative exercises we are set and the information and knowledge we gain. But the private Facebook page that comprises our community meeting place is so supportive. Scary to put your first pieces of work up on show - is anybody going to like them? Is anyone going to think them worthy of comment? Especially scary when some people are such very very talented artists already. But when you do screw up your courage and do it, getting feedback is amazing!
I already feel I have some clues towards what my style comprises, because of the words people use about my work. And once you have done it, you aren't scared again. You get braver. Many of us are admitting that some of these exercises are pushing us way out of our comfort zones and sometimes we are perplexed by that - what is wrong with me today? Why can't I get the flow going? And just seeing that other people are feeling this too is reassuring. The other day someone said 'what if I never get it?' But she will - I know she will.
Dying to get back to it now though................. :-)
(PS - thanks to the member of the course who first called us 'patternheads' - not a word I'd heard before but so apt considering the way it invades your brain...)