Fresh Arts on YouTube

At the beginning of this year I was absolutely delighted to be working with a great team, as a Creative Companion at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. The role involved spending time at patients bedsides, gently encouraging them to participate in creative, art based activities. It is a very rewarding job and I often felt truly humbled and affected by the conversations, and art created, as we shared time together.

Since mid March the priority has been on essential hospital staff working on the wards and therefore we haven’t been there physically in several months. I do miss everyone!

During this time my colleague, Sara, and I have been filming and editing videos for the Fresh Arts Youtube channel. It’s been an experience! Being the camera operator, artist, narrator, editor and runner (I’m so demanding!) has its challenges but I’m pleased to say we embraced the change in working practices and can now share the videos.

Finding the balance between so called perfection, aiming for a pleasing result and being authentic is a fun and enlightening experience. We are makers, artists, gardeners, creative souls, and, a team who love what we do. I hope that comes across and I look forward to making more. You can also see videos from the talented ‘Play It Again’ musicians.

A collage of sheet music petals and images torn from magazines

Creativity has been my constant companion in life, from my first experience of being a hospital patient, at the age of 12, to more recent times in Bristol, where knitting, drawing, painting and creative writing have been very powerful forms of expression and healing for me. I am passionate about the benefits of the creative arts to all of us, all of the time, and particularly in times of crisis. Becoming absorbed in the process of making can be very calming and a welcome distraction from acute pain.

Here are the videos, along with some images, in a gallery, below, of art work I’ve created as a result of making the videos and also of watching Sara applying brush to paper.

I really enjoyed slowing down and admiring the plants in the beautiful garden where I have the pleasure of working one day a week. There’s so much to see, smell, hear and take note of for creative inspiration.

After watching Sara’s Doodle Art video, I took a line for a walk. I was thinking about plants, gardening and how much I love orange and purple together in a garden. I was completely absorbed in the process and here’s the end result.

Starting at the bottom left and finishing at the top right, the pen didn’t leave the page

Here are two more lovely videos where Sara demonstrates a wax resist technique and watercolour flowers.

Give it a go and see what you come up with!

I also filmed and edited this video of a slow walk around a garden, pausing and admiring some of my favourite plants as I walked. I intend to use this as inspiration for some sketch book ideas and to see where those ideas take me.

Making and sending hand made cards is a lovely way to share your creativity with others. How about making a collage postcard for a friend, incorporating images that have meaning to you both, such as a piece of a map of somewhere you’ve been together? It’ll no doubt brighten their day to receive such a hand made and personal treasure.

Hand made cards,
ready to write and send

I hope you enjoy being creative too and would love to see any art work you’ve made as a result of watching the videos. You can tag @nbtfresharts and me, @sewingskillsproject on Instagram, and read more about Fresh Arts here…https://www.southmeadhospitalcharity.org.uk/projects/fresh-arts/

It’s also rather enjoyable to be quietly creative and to share with loved ones, or, only with yourself. : )

Enjoy the creative process!

Bye for now,

Jennifer