How I intend to evolve my studio and professional
practice during my 2019 cross country road trip.
By: Bernadette Mae
As my spouse, our dog and I travel across the country I will be inspired by my observations of nature, archaeology and local arts. I will explore methods of block printing and plein air mixed media drawings of the changing landscape throughout our journey. In addition to creating art on the road, we will uphold our most important value as professional artists to spread our love of art to everyone by (1) creating high quality crafts out of repurposed materials and (2) promoting emerging artists through our studio’s website, which is guaranteed from past experience to get increased web hits as we travel in our 1978 Volkswagen Bus.
Living out of the bus for three months means I have to downsize my supplies and (most importantly) the scale I work in. As an abstract studio artist my mixed media practice will be scaled down from 4 x 5 foot canvas to boards no larger than 18” x 24”. In my studio practice the editing process of each piece is so different and organic it is hard to know what the final product will be. Plein air mixed media drawings, whether the end result is a classic/traditional landscape or an abstract piece, will be inspired by my direct observations of nature. Like the changing landscapes I will be inspired by, my creating and editing process also evolves over time.
I will also need small things to do at night in the bus when it is cold or rainy. Leather working and block printing are great ways to keep my hands busy. The aesthetic of leather pieces will start with purely design elements, but I intend to bring inspiration from the landscapes into leather working. Block printing is a travel-friendly* medium in the bus, but also a great way to expand the quantity of my final product and therefore expose it to more people. Again process and studio research will dictate the final product, but I anticipate a series of block prints (roughly 11” x 17”) and a collection of greeting cards or postcards depicting the changing landscape we travel through.
This sabbatical will challenge and expand my studio practice through the inspiration from nature and solidify my professional practice through cross promotion with other artists and creating brand awareness for Ditchwerks Studio and Workshop so we can continue to create awesome things from repurposed materials.
*I have a grey water receptacle, but no way to try to wash out a silkscreen. Also, it would probably be a pain to try to coat a screen or even use drawing fluid and screen filler.