Our idea is not a product at all though - we feel that we need to help address the very basic lack of awareness that is still evident around us. Our dream is 'ecoarti' - inspiring eco-responsibility through artistic ventures; workshops and events to underline the message that seems to have been around for ages but doesn't seem to be working. Our polluted air and plastic filled seas bear witness to the failure of the 3 R's;
1. Refuse unnecessary packaging and single-use plastic
2. Reuse it for as long as possible.
3. was Recycle, but it's pretty obvious that globally we are not coping with the sheer amount of waste we are producing. As ecoarti we will create installations from rubbish and waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Our third R would be aRt - make rubbish into something memorable and perhaps even useful. I don't suppose we'll ever make a fortune by doing this, but there are many ways to feel rich!
Our next project is "Bahar taz-Zibel" ("Sea of Rubbish"), working with 70 teens to create a mural 8ft x 52ft to make them more aware of the impact plastic and other debris has on sealife. If only a few of them go home afterwards and take the message with them it will be worth it.
We want to show that rubbish can actually be a resource when used with imagination and creativity. Instead of letting it depress us, let's reuse it to make Art.
In May I organised two painting trips to Trapani in Sicily for my students. We really did a lot of work between us, and had a good time exploring some interesting sites ..... as well as feasting on fresh fish and local wines!
The cave has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times and in the 1800’s was turned into a small village by the Mangiapani family. Four family units lived there for 150 years until after the Second World War, when most of the inhabitants emigrated.
The Di Rosario family continued to live there, using it as a large stable and store.
In 1982, destroyed by the animals and quite derelict,a group of young people from Custonaci decided to restore the place and hold an annual Live Crib in the cave. It took years to restore the abandoned buildings and surrounding areas. They sourced examples of traditional tools and wares, and it is now a kind of living museum, with animals in the pens and the rooms displaying various crafts such as the making of barrels, clothes, puppets, carts, and food.
The photos above were all (brilliantly) taken by Melanie Geraghty
It was all very well done and we had a great time exploring before we settled down to paint.
It’s a challenge to draw such a massive cliff and keep the sense of scale and perspective –
I’m not sure how well I managed but it was fun trying.
My visit with the second group was on a Sunday and we were overrun by about 50 motorbikers obviously on a Tour, and we were all entertained by a group of traditional singers in local costume..... they did kind of disrupt our painting, but they offered to share their wine with us, so we forgave them !!
I couldn't help thinking that Malta has so many locations that could take this idea and restore interesting but currently derelict areas.
Close to where I live, the old village of Manikata "Razzett tal-Qasam" has been very well restored and preserved by the local farmers (see Koperattiva Rurali Manikata ) but there are many once-inhabited caves in the area that could be used in a similar way to the Sicilian one - even a Living Crib! Just an idea....
To all my friends, 'followers', and students past , present and to come, I hope that you have had a wonderful, magical Christmas and New Year celebrations. May 2016 bring a cornucopia of joy, wonder, beauty, good fortune and all other wondrous things spilling into your life!
You may have noticed that I fell off the weekly blog ladder in the last few months of 2015. Sending it out so often was probably too ambitious - I'm going to try and write a monthly one this year, plus a newsletter-y thing about classes and whatever else I've been up to art wise.
I am looking forward to starting a new series of Creativity Classes to stimulate and inspire old and new students. The first one will be January 30th at 10am in my Manikata studio and after that on the last Saturday of every month. We will explore different methods and materials, techniques and tools as a path to finding unique and personal work. Everyone can gain from 'playing' like this; it's a great way to push the boundaries of your knowledge and discover new ways of working that will enhance your skills. We'll cover things like textural surfaces using tissue paper and collage, using 'found' objects, creating happy accidents and generally having a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, my weekly classes will begin again next week.
Tuesday 12th at Le Meridien 10am - 12.30pm
Thursday 14th at Ta Mena in Gozo 10.30am - 1pm
Friday 15th at Villa Bologna in Attard 10am - 12.30pm
Basic classes for beginners, improvers and wish-I-could-get-going-again-ers will start in February.
All classes are 20 euro, or 100 euro for 6 classes paid in advance.
Please Click Here! to contact me for bookings or more info. (PS I don't teach children.)
Here's to the most creative and fulfilled year of our lives!
It’s not common for a creative person to excel at business and marketing. One skill usually outweighs the other. Marketing the Arts is best done by those who are not directly involved in creating it. You can’t be over sensitive if you are good in business, and you can’t be insensitive if you are going to create meaningful pieces of art. Business people know how their world works; it is built on things that have worked in the past, proven methods and safe approaches. A good business model is a sound, logical left-brained piece of thinking, with steps to take to reach the goal.
One of the last things we may think of is a happy customer. Putting that into the mix often stifles the flow. That’s not good business, but it’s certainly good for us. We are feeding our own soul, helping it to grow and express itself in its own unique way.
There are many innovative ways of running businesses now, of course, with the internet so easy to access and use. Creative people, like me, can really enjoy making websites and skimming through hundreds of inspirational images online. I like playing around with the way the pages on my website look, and editing my own paintings. But I know that I fall down when it comes to the promotional and marketing side of it all. I start and then retreat. It doesn’t feel right for me to put ‘BUY ME NOW!’ buttons under my pictures. Feeling isn’t part of most businesses though, is it. What to do??
I love to paint - and draw - and help others to discover their creative side too.....
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