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What is Art?

Art may be a small word but the answer is huge

With the Tywi Valley Arts Trail approaching I thought it would be interesting to share some information about the Open Studios, and in a light-hearted manner what some of the great artists themselves on the matter.

NB. The photos I have used were taken by me recently on a trip to Charleston Farmhouse, home to artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant (amongst others) - not just paintings but ceramics and textiles too.

So what is it all about?

It is said that Art is a way to express an opinion or feeling, or to create a different view of the world - it allows you to see life from a different perspective and it makes you feel alive. Art is produced when imagination or creativity are used to create something that can be directly experienced through our senses.

I am a textile artist - but is what I do, Art? When I was at school I was constantly told in 'Art classes' that I couldn't paint or draw so I assumed that any creativity wasn't Art. How wrong I was for so many years, but now, in later life, I'm living the life!

  • “Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

  • Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

  • “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” – Bob Ross

  • “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” – Vincent Van Gogh

A few more quotations

  • “A work of art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t art at all.” – Paul Cézanne

  • “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” – Steve Jobs

  • “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – Twyla Tharp

  • “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr.Seuss

  • “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” – Vincent van Gogh

  • “Creativity is magic. Don’t examine it too closely.” – Edward Albee

If you've not yet thought about a summer break, why not take time out to visit the beautiful Tywi Valley in Carmarthenshire during the last few days of July and first week of August? You'll enjoy some wonderful scenery and you'll be able to visit 31 artists and makers living within 15 miles radius of Llandeilo. You will witness an array of different art genres - textiles, paintings, wood, metalwork, sculpture, bookbinding, glass and ceramics - and you'll be able to ask the artists themselves what they think 'Art' is and enjoy hearing their inspirations and passions.

Arts Trail Workshops

12 of the 31 Tywi Valley Open Studios artists (including myself) will hold 'taster' workshops during the 9 days, ranging from sculpture, wet-felting (guess who?!), pottery, ceramics, mixed media, paining, willow weaving, fused glass and blacksmithing.

Further details can be found on the TVOS website.

If you can't make it to one of the taster workshops, I will of course be holding my full-day workshops for a minimum of two people once the Arts Trail is over.

If you can't make any of these workshops but would like to try your hand at nuno-felting (suitable if you already have a little wet-felting knowledge) you may like to purchase one of my new 'kits' containing a hand-dyed ponge silk scarf and unique art batt in a variety of colours. Each kit has full instructions and enough materials to make stunning 'one-off' summer scarf.

Please do contact me if you would like any further information about the Trail, workshops or my new kits. I do hope to see you soon and wish you the best of summers.

Llandovery and the surrounding areas look stunning at the moment so there's no reason not to have a minibreak down here, enjoy the Arts Trail and take in the town and countryside. With so much accommodation locally, all in the most beautiful of settings, you'll be spoilt for choice.

Llandovery in all its glory this summer

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