“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Being dyslexic and anxious can be both a hindrance and a blessing. Whilst the creative side of it is great, I do often struggle to soak up and retain information, especially instructions, it can take a fair few times for the penny to stop ‘rolling’ and finally ‘drop’.
One of the challenges I am facing this semester is letting go of the need to know what I am doing before I do it. By not allowing myself the fumbling and sometimes embarrassing stages of being a beginner I take away the experimental, fun bit. So there is this internal battle of wills, one desperate to have a plan, to be in control and make no mistakes and the other needing the space to just go with the creative flow, make the mistakes to learn from and have fun. A good example of this is my recent attempt to grasp the concept of measuring mount boards for my prints, simple for some, but not for me..not straight away anyway;
I have selected a few Stone Lithography prints and collages to take, they need to be packaged up professionally to be in keeping with the other members’ work.
Being short of money, I cannot simply just go out and buy the mounts ready cut to size, so I need to be resourceful. I have tried measuring and cutting mount boards before but could not remember how and besides I am not a mathematical person, at all!?!
So, I asked a couple of tutors in Uni, who kindly helped by demonstrating their ways of doing it, both slightly different but making complete sense at the time. However, when it came to ME doing it, my brain froze! I just stood there armed with my prints, the mount board, instructions, ruler, pencil and calculator, unable to think, staring at it all and scratching my head!? I could NOT remember the instructions, my notes and sketches made little sense to me, I felt stupid! I gave up and went home defeated.
After a pep talk with myself that evening, I decided that the following morning would be the time that I would make myself ‘get it’ and measure all the mount boards ready to be cut! But again, I just stood there racking my brains in the empty studio trying to work out how it was to be done. Luckily a fellow student, Beth was in early and helped me see sense. Eureka!! That moment when you do get it finally, felt pretty good! The mount boards all measured up and marked ready to cut! Thanks Beth!
Now this was a huge feat for me to overcome. One I will try to remember when attempting other things that initially seem to elude me. I do think the effects of this breakthrough continued into the following few days as I became more daring in my experimental approaches to working in my home studio….
In the studio:
Starting the day off by preparing some BIG soft ground etching plates. One of the things AB and I discussed in my last tutorial was drawing, something I am NOT very confident at all about, and mixing etching with cyanotypes.
Feeling the fear and drawing it anyway…. a work in process..
Not yet being fully set up to be able to etch plates at home and to continue practicing my drawing, I moved on to this dry-point on a thin clear acrylic plate, really enjoyed this and felt good about the result;
I also experimented with rolling over an old etching plate with relief ink and a brayer. This is the actual plate inked up, I really liked the teal colour that came through from the aluminium plate.
Whilst the relief ink was out I decided to finish carving and print a linocut that I started in the summer..need to sort out the eyes, maybe with an ink drawing pen?
So, what’s next?
Etch the plates from this week and print. Also, Cyanotypes, as soon as I get the chemistry. More experimentation!
I will also continue working on a woodcut of a Robin to go on greetings cards and printing a linocut on some plate litho prints.
Work on my website and photo editing skills in the MAC suite on Friday.
Prepare work for my space in the Oriel Seren gallery in Machynlleth and create some up-cycled work for the Art Centre Winter Fair.