21st January 2020
Studio space restored to pristine condition we arrived, day 2, ready for more. Faye was with us again and introduced Kate Waters, our tutor for the afternoon.
Once again we were asked to build on yesterday’s work pushing it as far as we could led by, and continuing to explore, the materials. Our processes began to further diverge, informed in my case by my one to one mentoring session with Marie Claire.
I cut and re-positioned elements either over another background or on fresh paper. Further marks were added. Still experimenting with large brush marks, rollers, dragging and printing and a selection of paints, charcoal, bars and inks, spraying with water, scraping back, further editing by covering with paint or torn/ cut paper of varying opacity.
We worked independently, engrossed in our own work but there was a freedom to wander the room and engage with others. We discussed were encouraged or encouraged others, made suggestions, offered and received praise. It felt a safe encouraging, stimulating environment.
Kate gave us an insight into her life and work through a powerpoint talk. It was humbling to be granted insight into the very personal route to her challenging sometimes disturbing images.
Her hunger for knowledge about our human spiritual heritage leading to explorations in place and time. Her dedication to mastering Shamanic practice and her visceral responses in the most delicate watercolours. She shared that occasional very vivid dreams inspired or acted as prompts to her instinctive, intuitive way of working.
She showed us some of the small sketchbooks which accompany her everywhere. Filled and constantly edited. Pages brought forward from earlier books which turn out to have been ‘future flagging’. Many of them full of words with visual material a small element. We were invited to look at Kate’s illustrations for works of poetry, CD covers, books and book covers. Her images are direct but unsettling, delicate but with a power which lingers.
Throughout the 2 days, in smaller groups and pairings, we found out more about each other’s lives. How each of us had come to apply for this particular course, which part of the country we travelled from, something of our careers, families. A few shared images of their work on phones. Discussion ensued about the challenges of working in different media, selling work, use of colour, economies around framing.
It had been a tiring, intense but exhilarating two days. To draw it’s strands together Faye went around to each of us asking what surprised us about the experience and to look at how we had responded. Finally we cleared our work stations, packed our pieces away, said our goodbyes and headed off to our various workspaces and studios to continue developing our personal practice.