This blog is programmed to appear on line whilst I am away in Peru. I shall be checking whether it has worked when I get home!
One subject which is dear to my heart is self-learning or auto-didacticism. I have not had a formal art training, this never being an option for an average lass way back in the 1960's. At times I have regretted this, but mostly I consider this to be an advantage (I am sure I would have been a failure anyway because I dislike being told what to do in favour of my own concepts).
Over the years I have attended many individual workshops, and indeed taught many workshops (this gets one learning). I have been very selective in my choice of direction and returned to my own studio and put my slant on what has been seen/done.
I have always made a special effort to attend the many lectures and artists' talks that accompany exhibitions at art galleries and museum. I find these fascinating, the more so if the topic/art is not what I do, ie textiles.
To keep abreast of such events I am a member of the Friends of TheNewDowse, Expressions and Te Papa, all within my local region. Pataka also offers a great lecture programme. If you don't want to become a Friend of these institutions, they all bring out monthly programmes which are available on their websites, e-newsletters and handouts.
My events diary tells me I have been to six of these since the beginning of 2010. I always walk away inspired with what I have seen and heard. Sometimes I have not understood, or liked, a particular exhibition, and an artists' talk puts a new perspective on the work. Occasionally I can't be persuaded to like the work but at least I have a greater understanding.
Learning is our responsibility. Making that effort should become a matter of routine. The insights learnt can be very beneficial, as well as most enjoyable.