The True Colour of the Cotinus… its not just about blue

If you want to book a space in my “The True Colour of the Cotinus” on the 8th of August 2021 please check the link at the bottom of this page…

A long time ago when I started my artist life I discovered that people loved being involved in creativity. Some of us are more artists than others and some of us are more at ease with organising or taking part in creative activities but many are very excited by the opportunity to take part in a collective project with a communal creative outcome.

Over time I organised exhibitions, communal workshops and quite a few times… Community based Art projects. Just my Communities are not all based on geographical areas or low income based. Usually my communities are based on the love for a particular type of creativity…

In the beginning of this century I ran projects based on Charles Rennie Mackintosh designs and the ability to stencil. My “Big Rose” project was about one single glasgow rose designed at the turn of the 20th century by Art Nouveau architect Mackintosh for a house for an Art lover. Hundreds took to the street with a chubby brush in their hand to stencil one of those pink stylised roses on the pavements in front of a Mackintosh building. If Glasgow was always very urban… we adorned its pavement with carpet of those roses. There was something poignant in seeing fathers seating crossed legs on the pavement with their young ones stippling pink paint through the wholes of a stencil. It was such an energetic project…

The following year we recreated linen banners for “The Big Banner” project. Adorned with Mackintosh designs of pinks and roses and tall ladies elongated. They were gradually stencilled by many random individuals in a public venue. Together they looked fantastic hanging in The Lighthouse and many visited the final exhibition opening, visitors from the 4 corners of Glasgow City (and everywhere else) realising they were visiting the exhibition of their communal work.

I love seeing the participant to a project’s eye lit up realising that they are in fact “pretty arty” when they have spent 40 years stating that they were not…

So Covid was certainly not going to stop me running a community project … on the contrary… Covid enlarged my play field to… THE WORLD 🙂

My new project is called “The true colour of the Cotinus” and it is about Eco-printing the leaf of a Cotinus bush to check what colour we can obtain. Well that is the original project which I launched in July 2020 in the middle of a Covid Lockdown. Since then with the discovery that the Cotinus leaves in the right conditions give a beautiful blue print… we have been searching for blue… in 2020 on paper and in 2021 on fabric, Silk, Cotton and Linen.

But the real project is off course not about obtaining the colour blue… it is about Community, about getting people together and discovering together something vibrant to share. Something simple and difficult at the same time, something that will make our heart beat faster when we achieve. Something that will make us search and share and do and eagerly long to do. Something that will make us talk to one another and engage…

The blue Cotinus print has become something we have talked about, the Cotinus tree (of the right colour) something we long to possess. We have searched for the right tree, the right size of leaves and we are counting the days to the next online workshop so we can get together on the screen at a crazy time for some of us and the right time for others… because off course… we work in one time zone but we all belong to a variety of time zones.

What will happen if we find “The True Colour” of the Cotinus on the 8th of August… Will we be joyful? Will we be sad the quest is over? Will I need to find think of another project to put together so my communities can keep meeting and have fun creating?

The True Colour of the Cotinus in August 2021 is the second workshop for this year. We will work on fabric to try and pin point the right conditions to achieve the colour blue from red leaves when eco printing them. Our method is taken from everyone’s results in May 2021 and condensed by myself in the one technique to follow. 100 of us will take part on zoom and via video replay. Our results will get posted in a FB group so we can all admire.

So far that will be 400 participants over the two years and many observers. Many trees purchased and planted and leaves sent between borders to allow prints to be made…

I am looking forward to the event and the results….

Would you like to join? There are a few spaces left but don’t delay booking…. not many

…https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-true-colour-of-the-cotinus-online-eco-printing-workshop-tickets-156513675617

Love

Betty x