The Canberra Times

How to enjoy the processes of creatingAdvertising Feature

Drop in and draw is a relaxing self-guided workshop space to just enjoy the process for yourself. Photo: Supplied

There are two ways we can look at the world of arts and crafts. Actually there are several, but let's focus on two.

One is as a form of communication. The term expression is often used, but in a lot of cases, and a lot of interpretations, the artist (or artists) are making some statement or telling a story that has meaning and significance to them, and probably to the wider world as well.

The other is as a useful skillset for human development, like learning to write or to play a musical instrument.

In either case, you don't have to be the best in the world to derive personal pleasure from it. You can enjoy a session on the piano without comparing yourself to Ludwig Van Beethoven. You can write things down without comparing yourself to Leo Tolstoy.

Similarly, you should be able to enjoy the act of drawing or creating any other artform without worrying about comparisons.

Artistic director and co-CEO at Belconnen Arts Centre (Belco Arts), Monika McInerney, certainly subscribes to each of the above ideas. Further, she also makes no clear distinction between art and craft because, at a fundamental level, they are essentially the same thing.

Whatever the art form, "the craftsmanship, the way things are made and pulled together from different materials, are not dissimilar," Monika said.

Also, rather aptly, "we have two exhibitions at the moment which speak beautifully of craft as art."

One is Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello's Colonisation, on display until August 21.

"The exhibition features quite extraordinary masks of her head," Monika said.

"It tells the journey of her cancer treatment process and she has used the language of glass to express that journey."

Another is My Greece by Micheal Winters. Also on until August 21, this features linocut prints to showcase how much his creative life is intertwined with Greece.

Monika also believes that art has the ability to cut through political divides, and to convey messages that some people seem all too willing to dismiss when they're presented as raw science.

It can also bridge the age divide, as an expression and as an activity.

Monika compared the basics of drawing with practising music. "It is one of those exercises you should do like playing scales on a piano."

Additionally, "drawing is training your brain to see."

Tying this all in with our earlier point about enjoying the process of participating, Belco Arts has created a workshop space called Drop in and Draw. It currently features a nature-themed scene, "and it is easy for beginners to draw the basic shapes of everything, but it is also challenging for advanced artists who want to capture all the fine detail."

You can bring some of your own material or use theirs. You don't have to book and you don't have to show anyone either.

Belco Arts also has other workshops you could book yourself into to learn skills such as making a fruit basket, sculpting a head, creating a mini diorama, linocut printing, creating wearable objects, public speaking or botanical illustration with watercolours.