I decided to share a bit of my process and especially the tool I’ve been using to make layered prints. I absolutely love my gelli plate, because you never know exactly what you will get. However, I do like some control over the edges. That’s why I use this tool when I make my abstract landscapes, like the ones below the video.
It’s the 30th of march 2020. After planting a new hedgerow in my garden I sit down in my lazy chair with a cup of coffee. I suddenly feel like I will never get up again. I am exhausted, I can hardly get the cup to my lips. I have no idea that, from this moment on, my life will change dramatically. Over the next few days I get sicker and sicker: it’s Covid-19. I don’t know how or where I got it. I get pretty sick, but luckily I do not end up in the hospital or worse.
Now, almost 20 months later, I am still a wreck. I am one of the ‘long haulers’ with PASC, also known as long-COVID. I am getting better, but it’s a slow process. I had most of the common symptoms, but the biggest and remaining issue is fatigue. I have so little energy that I am not able to do housework or walk the dog. Let alone work. I use a walker for short distances and a scooter to walk the dog. I am fortunate that I have friends and family helping me out.
To prevent myself from getting depressed I started journaling and making art again. I am a trained artist, but my teaching job was so demanding, that it left little time or energy for making art. But now it’s become more important then ever. Spending only 30 minutes in my studio changes my day for the better. I started out with small things, like decorating my journal with pictures from magazines and drawing on scraps of paper, so I would not put the bar too high. I made collages with teabags and made drawings on some of the smaller pieces. Yes! This was exactly wat the doctor ordered.
A few months on I am able to spend more time in my studio making collages and blind drawings. I’m thinking about painting again. Things are moving forward! That’s why I decided to share my joy with the world on this website and on Instagram. I’m hoping to expand my art making, while I am recovering from my illness. But I’m taking it slow: no pressure and one day at a time.
Recently I followed two online courses on Creative Bug to help spark my creativity. Because of long-covid I am not able to do big projects, so I was looking for small and fun ideas. I stumbled upon Get Unstuck: 30 Days of Overcoming Your Creative Block by Danielle Krysa and that was exactly what I needed.
Danielle talks a lot about silencing your inner critic. And mine definitely needed silencing! It was constantly telling me my work was not good enough, that I should be a better artist, because I went to art school. But that was over 20 years ago and I’ve been teaching in the mean time. Now I feel like have have to start over. I did paint some portraits over the years, but I did not develop much as an artist. So, yes, I am starting
over again. And I am not listening to that little voice in de back of my mind telling me I’m not good enough. Instead I am having fun making collages and blind drawings.
But I do need a reminder sometimes. Inspired by e bond* to create a collage with a quote, I made a poster for my studio. It reminds me that failure is part of creativity and learning. It’s exactly what I have been teaching my students for 20 odd years and now I need to hear this myself. So, whenever I hear my inner critic telling me I am a failure, I can look at that poster and know I am failing like a genius!
* Words Inform Images: 31 Prompts Using Writing as Inspiration for Art is also a great course for anyone who is stuck or looking for new creative ideas.