Monday, August 26, 2013

oil and cotton

Oil and Cotton, a haven for artists. All photos by Frances Moulin
During the whole "rediscovering my creative self" phase (which may or may not still be in effect...), there was a place that helped support my efforts. Tucked away in the cool and eclectic streets of Oak Cliff, Dallas lies a creative commons that appreciates and encourages the arts - in all its forms - for all ages, whether professional or novice. A quirky little space that offers weekly classes and workshops in poetry, calligraphy, abstract and watercolor painting, printmaking, embroidery and leatherworking. You can even learn to marble paper or weave a mini Navajo rug, if you like.

Such a simple and delicate tissue flower creation - would be perfect for a party or shower.
Lovely little door and clothespins for hanging masterpieces.
The first class I took at Oil and Cotton was "The Supposed Object" with artist Rebecca Carter, an 8-week adult art class that encouraged experimentation with various materials and focused on one item of your choosing. When we first arrived, Rebecca had us write on a piece of paper the reason we were taking the class - because, let's be honest, we're all seeking something. My response was (and I still have this piece of paper in my studio), "I hope to find the creative person I used to be (I miss her)." This was, of course, during a time when I was lost in the corporate world and seeking a more meaningful and artistic life. It was this class that helped push me and kick-start that journey.

The "wash your paintbrushes" station - yet so much more.
Most recently I took a photography class with photographers Derek Rankins and Matt Golden, the first class in a four-part series (find out more here). The class was all about getting to know your camera, and I learned truly valuable information, particularly since I'm a self-taught photographer. We went through the ins and outs of the DSLR camera, talked a bit about photo history, and had some time to take photos, discuss, edit and print. These guys are seriously great - extremely knowledgeable professionals who are clearly passionate about their craft. Oh, and they said next time they might bring mimosas and snacks...just sayin'.

I took this photo with Derek's macro lens. I can't even talk about how spectacular it is.
Won't you buy it for a sweet, starving artist/blogger/aspiring photographer?
Did I mention the space also has an incredible studio and sells all kinds of supplies? An absolute oasis for artists.

So inspired by that chalkboard.
A happy, little weaving project.
Oil and Cotton is owned by two artists, Shannon Driscoll and Kayli House Cusick, who are passionate about interdisciplinary arts and driven by their motivating philosophy to "make do with what you got." Isn't that brilliant, inspiring and so relevant for all of us? Because we're all scrambling to get through life, one day at a time, making do with what we've got. Oil and Cotton just may help you discover - or bring out - your inner artist so you can make that life a bit more creative and colorful.

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