2020 plans + creating in a bubble for now!

Posted by Belinda Marshall on

If you read my newsletter you might know that at the beginning of the year I started a contemporary painting subject at Victorian College of the Arts.

I was so excited to do this course for a few reasons. I didn't go to art school when I was young, though I really wanted to . . . I was persuaded that a fine art career in the late 80s was near impossible and way too risky!! So I am self taught, which has definitely been interesting. I've learned by doing and have approached using colour and materials intuitively - I have found my style this way.

After painting for 16 years and teaching workshops for a few, I started to crave mentorship and feedback on my work. I could feel my work moving in a very new direction - with excitement and uncertainty in equal measures.

I love working in a shared studio space and connecting with other artists here but really wanted a more dedicated, ongoing in-person group to learn my craft with, in a new way. 

I was also excited about being able to extend my teaching and offer more help to other artists wanting to experiment with their own style.

In just 3-4 weeks, the course opened up new challenges - joyful and uncomfortable, but what I was needing! Working with oils with traditional techniques and representational subject matter took me well out of my abstract comfort zone. I've totally identified with being an abstract artist so this was a shake up! 

Then came the universal shake up of Covid-19 . . . and unsurprisingly the uncertainty grew. After looking at still life work, my abstract work started to feel a bit shallow - eeek! I sat with this, trying not to panic, and decided to work just on paper and small canvas offcuts, and to keep working regardless of results. This helped a lot.

Though the craving for a creative group dynamic has amplified with isolation, I am happy to be relying on my creative work to get through this weird time. Trying to be gentle on myself while pushing the bubble!

How have you been coping with all the changes? Have you been able to keep things going? Have you learned anything new? Let me know in the comments below.


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  • I hope you can return to the VCA course soon. You will be able to incorporate traditional painting techniques into your abstract work.

    Jacinta on

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