I have always admired seeing street artists create beautiful images with chalk. Last year I met with Will Graham of Neon Crab tattooing and when he mentioned that he was a judge with the Expressions In Chalk event at Ribfest in London, I told him that I would love to get involved. I contacted them in the spring and was asked to send an image of what I was thinking of creating. A while later I was accepted as an artist for this summer's event.
My experience as a first timer is incredibly positive. The organizers and volunteers were amazing. The other artists were all welcoming and we helped each other on the morning of the first day to chalk out our squares. I have made friendships already and hope to see those I saw this year, back again next year (yes, I am hooked).
As Will stated over the weekend, it's not just about the artwork, it's also about the physical stamina that you need to stay out for 2 days from 8am to 6 pm to finish your piece. This year we encountered 40 degree weather. On saturday, there was almost no wind and we were out in the open. Sunday had a but more breeze which was better but the temperature was about the same.
I thank all the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and fellow artists for letting me feel like I found a new family. I am proud that I made the weekend with taking almost no Advil and I actually had a bounce in my step the morning of the second day. Not bad since I went out Saturday night and went to bed at 11 pm. I often preach that as we get older, we can continue to be active. This was one the main reasons I wanted to do this. to show to myself that a 52 year old has what it takes to participate and finish a piece under these conditions. I look forward to next year and create something memorable.
Intuitive Painting is a method to explore your own thoughts and ideas in a critic free environment and to tune into your own inner voice. This is a huge one for me and I am sure is for most people. You are allowed to nurture yourself and learn techniques to express your thoughts and feelings. This approach to painting is focused on mindfulness, creative permission and the act of spontaneous expression.
Creativity in it's many styles, stems from the strong belief that it is fundamental to a person's health and well-being. To let go of our pre conceptions is one of the most important part of the process, and the most uncomfortable, at first.
I am so excited to follow this path. Who wants to join me on this adventure?
In London, Kathy Smith is the first Creative Age ambassador and from what I can see, she is the first in Canada. I achieved my accreditation this past Sept. and look forward to working in the community to foster creative endeavours for seniors. Since last spring, I have been fortunate enough to go to senior's homes and teach painting classes. I look forward to growing in my participating of helping, not only seniors, but adults as well on learning how to paint and draw. I have started this by offering classes through my studio. I have some Learn to Paint classes which are running but I plan to add half and full day seminars as time goes on. This is my focus for many years into the future. I am so fortunate to have a studio where I can not only teach but create my art.
There are those who aren't allowed to play with creativity at a young age and that when they are older, have such a yearning that they follow their heart. I have many fine art friends who create beautiful work and took up their art in adulthood and are successful.
Others have worked in their office jobs all their life and once retired, have decided to start exploring their creativity.
Everyone has their journey. As a person who was given all the latitude to explore my creativity growing up, I want everyone to have what I have which is an opportunity to explore their own creativity.
I have started a Learn to Paint for non painters and the feedback has been amazing. The people who sign up are brave in that they are giving themselves permission to enter into something that they have no knowledge of. When they leave, I see the spark of excitement of learning more.
I am a member of Creative Age, a group focused on creativity in senior years. My mandate is to be teaching for the next 20 years from my studio and at various locations. I taught design at Fanshawe for 10 years and am a graduate of BealArt and Fanshawe Design. I have a passion for teaching and I task anyone reading this post to consider their interest in the creative arts. I specialize in drawing and painting but there is also dance, yoga, theater and other art forms to choose from.
There are so many psychological/physiological reasons why creativity is helpful to the aging person that only help with their quality of life.
Pick one that excites you. Pick a bunch, much like a buffet and see which one keeps your interest.
I am so thankful the 2017 and the opportunities that appeared to me at the end of the year. That is why I am so excited for 2018. I have a platter of options to choose from and I look forward to seeing which ones are most prominent by the end of this year. My path isn't precise but that's ok. I am at a point where I am very open to new opportunities. I don't have to know the end game, I just know that it won't be boring.
I set a goal at the beginning of this year from an income standpoint, and I reached it by the end of this October.
My teaching at retirement homes is going well and am looking forward to new locations in the new year.
I have also been playing with a new art form for me (acrylic pouring). I still will do more realistic, or representational paintings and illustrations because I do enjoy that too.
My aim for next year is to increase my art courses and one day seminars. That with my retirement home classes, I will be as busy as I choose to be. I am very grateful for my community at supporting my business. It has been a great surprise that I have had so many clients from London, Ilderton, Lucan, (Port Dover!), Thorndale, St. Marys and other smaller towns. I have a beautiful studio in my home perfect for hosting paint events and at create art.
I never anticipated it at the beginning of the year that I would have 2 businesses showcasing my artwork that are for sale but here I am. I am considering creating art and having them shown in a gallery by the end of next year.
When I decided to take my destiny in my own hands and make my business work a year ago (yes, I started all this exactly one year ago), it was one of the best decisions of my life.
Thank you to everyone who has been with me on my journey. Hugs to all.
Am I grateful? Absolutely. I look forward to 2018 and all the opportunities that it presents.
For the last month or so, I have seen examples on Facebook on an art form called paint pouring. It consists of acrylic paint and various mediums and additives to make the paint flow and to have "cells" created in the piece.
I have only been at it a week but I am getting more confident every day. The image to the left is 10" x 10". I love the mix of swirling paint and small cells.
My goal is to create pieces with large cells which I find very beautiful.
I will be creating more pieces and will be putting them up on my website at http://www.sylverdesign.com/paint-pouring.html
I took a leap of faith about what I am passionate about and it has steadily grown over this past year in a way that I have been comfortable with. My audience include adults and seniors and I feel so lucky that what I have envisioned has been coming to fruition.
I started SylverDesign in 1996 and it has been alive, in one form or another since then. A few weeks ago I told a close friend that I now know what I am doing (work) for the next 10 years or longer. I am excited at working at my business. It is mine and I am grateful to all my friends, family and clients.
In my Learn to Paint class, I taught my students how to blend acrylic paints. Below is a photo of all 4 of our paintings arranged together. My caption for this painting was, "can you guess which one is the teacher's?
My husband and I build our dream home about 7 years ago on a 40 acre farm. We designed it ourselves and I have a studio that is spacious with all the amenities and with lots of light. Last summer I was mentioning to a friend that I wasn't getting where I wanted and she said to me, "Sylvie, when you built your house you said that you would have art classes in your studio, why don't you do that!".
Paint Nights were popular so I invested in all the stuff to make it a go and in Nov. 2016 I began. It was a very good start. In the spring of 2017 I started to do painting classes at Amica in London. I now have 2 more retirement homes that I am starting to do monthly classes with. I hope to add a few more.
Paint Nights are a start but not my end. My plan is to offer art classes to adults, actually from high school age and up. I have had enough people from my Paint Nights who want to learn more about painting that I have designed an 8 hour Learn to Paint for Non Painters course. When I have enough people who have taken that class, then I will offer classes in painting florals, landscapes, Group of Seven, and the list is endless. I'd also love to teach a colour theory course on paint colours. and am also thinking of having one day seminars.
I am on my way of building my art teaching world and I am very excited in the coming years. I have always had a passion for teaching and it is what I shine at. The fact that I am a fine artist myself who gets to pass on what I know, is a bonus.
Either in my studio on location, I have honed my ability to create a learning environment. I thank everyone who has come to my Paint Events (not just Paint Nights) and have been following me on this journey. The 2 most consistent pieces of feedback that I have had is that my studio is spacious and has lots of light and that I actually instruct during my classes, as I come around to everyone and assist them in the process.
I have always been blessed. I have found what I want to do for a very long time and it feels wonderful.
This blog is to showcase my ongoing work.