I am a maker at heart. I think about creating things almost constantly—not so much the completed work of art, but the process behind it. Mixing colour, the feel of a tool in my hands and sounds of a brayer running across the ink all draw me into the experience. Block printing on fabric seems like a simple process of applying ink to a hand carved stamp and then pressing it into fabric. The reality is far more complex as you realize the endless possibilities that await as you play with pattern, scale, and texture. The exhilaration I feel during processes like this is what keeps me coming back each day to my studio.
As an artist, I feel one gets better through repetition. Ingraining the process into one’s fingers and stance so you can return to it and experience a higher quality result each time. Building the act of creativity into one’s day comes through repetition as well. It might be difficult at first, it might feel complicated, but once you have making things built into a habit, it is easy to live life creatively. When I teach, this is often a big component to my class—the idea of learning a skill and then learning how to bring it life through creation.
Michelle Wiebe is a Cochrane-based artist focused primarily on painting, printmaking, and letterpress. Her work is characterized by simple subject matter rendered with bold colour and line work. Recently she has done work for The City of Calgary and Creative Airdrie, and is a member of the Alberta Printmakers and the Leighton Artist Centre.
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