Creative Art Blog 


I loved doing art when I was younger and really enjoyed the Acrylics course, which I had done at Artreach Studios with Kate and Colette.

When I saw the online Art courses during lockdown I seized the opportunity to immerse myself in art. I have loved the experience and learned to factor ‘art time’ into my week when the live videos were on. It really worked for me and I’m convinced this helped me through the lockdown. I was able to forget what was going on in the real world whilst I was immersed in my ‘art bubble’. Kate taught us how to draw and gave me the confidence to experiment and let go of the usual insecurities I have concerning whether I’m good enough. I think it also helped, initially, that no-one could see what I was creating, so if it was awful it didn’t matter!

The first time I posted my art work on The Artreach Tribe page on Facebook I was scared! Then I realised that no one was going to judge me and it was lovely to receive encouraging comments.

I loved the feeling of warmth and encouragement which I felt during the art sessions and really looked forward to each session. Pinterest is amazing for ideas and a starting point. I’d never really used it for art before. As the weeks went on I was able to develop my own pictures, using Kate’s ideas and Pinterest.

I absolutely loved doing the Characterful faces drawing workshop. I just let go and drew whatever came out. I was amazed to see how different each face was each time. I just didn’t know what was going to appear!

I have made birthday cards for all of my friends, rather than buying them and created a jungle picture for my grandson in the UK. Each week was different and called for different styles of drawing and designing your art work.

Since the end of lockdown real life has taken over, I’ve lost my art time. I’m catching up with friends and back to work but once the novelty of seeing everyone dies down I am determined to devote at least one afternoon a week to art. It’s my ‘Me’ time and I have felt the benefit. I’ve put all my work in a folder and named it Lockdown Art to keep. However, what’s more important than the folder is that I’ve got through this difficult time intact, with more confidence in myself and the realisation that it is really worth devoting some time to being creative for wellbeing.

A huge thank you to Kate and Colette for giving your time for us. You are amazing and I look forward to coming onto another course soon. xx

There is something magical about making art. The process of conveying your emotions in a visual form and stepping into your creative self on a regular basis, helps you to feel stimulated with a sense of accomplishment.

The simple or more complex experiences that define who you are, in turn influence the art we make. There is never a right or wrong time to step into art making, be it drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics or other, the time to begin is now, the only thing holding you back, is you?

The artists behind Artreach Studios, Colette Gambell and Kate Jerry have worked together on visual art projects since 2011, navigating a path that balances professional art practice, curating and managing an art gallery and instructing/teaching through creative art workshops. They both had a rigorous University learning environment, and honed their knowledge, artistic vision and developed a critical eye through fine art degrees. They have both worked in the arts for many years and have been instrumental in the creation and implementation of numerous community arts projects + festivals.

Both artists love to work across mediums and have an in depth knowledge of many different techniques, born out of a natural curiosity,

passion to understand how a material works and a 'no limit' attitude to experimenting with something new. The artists' love of creativity, and willingness to share their knowledge with others, has been a driving force behind their business.

Foremost they teach process over outcome and have had clients ranging from confident artists to

encouraging complete beginners to ‘have a go’ at making art. Creating art can be beneficial throughout all stages of life, helping to make you an all-around better, happier person.

Colette explains, 'we all need creativity in our lives! One of the reasons it is so powerful is because art is a form of meditative play, an active training of the mind that increases awareness and emphasises acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment. Something innate takes over and complete relaxation of body and mind ensues. Art making is a great experience; exciting, fun, boasts many positive benefits and is completely inclusive.'

Kate and Colette’s art workshop offerings are conveyed in beautiful presentations, well researched topics, themes, techniques and thoughtfully put together projects that deliver transformational experiences to participants. Their teaching methods have taken years to develop which they have broken down into simple steps that are designed to build confidence, Kate reveals,

‘expecting to get a perfect outcome right away, is not the object, it takes time to build skills and we must look to children, and their ability to delve into joyful art-making process, without worrying about the outcome. We believe in an all-encompassing approach to the visual arts and make it well-rounded, to include a little art history, art appreciation, art aesthetic, critique, celebration, connection and hands-on, mixed media art-making!  Mediums include, exploration in painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, printmaking, 3D sculpture, up-cycled art, textiles, paper maché, ceramics, pottery & lots of d.i.y. artisan craft making!  

From the heart...

Kate and Colette have 9+ years of visual arts education experience and have taught hundreds of children and adults in their Atelier styled Gallery, at Isle Contemporary in the Isle of Man, in schools, museums, festivals and events. Colette goes on to say, 'we both know how lucky we are to have found creative practice. To be able to share such a powerful, therapeutic experience and to aid and participate in another's healing journey is a gift. It's something we feel passionately about, recognising the beauty of transformation within, of 'finding oneself', an enlightening rediscovery. No matter who you are, no matter your age or ability, when one takes a leap of faith, steps into this inspirational world, embraces it, engages with it and opens oneself up to possibility, that's when something magical occurs and we're privileged to be there to guide you.'

They are thrilled to be taking their creative branded art workshops online!  Kate concludes, ‘We love to inspire as many as possible to develop creative confidence, and create a colourful environment as far and as wide as possible. The importance art has had to play in these horrific times of COVID-19 shows how we are turning to the arts… seeking creative outlets to

soothe our spirit, because most of us know the feeling of being moved by a work of art, whether it is a song, a play, a poem, a novel or a painting. Transported to a new place, we become aware of a feeling that may not be unfamiliar to us but which we did not actively focus on before.

This transformative experience is what art is constantly seeking.

One of our major responsibilities is to help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically. By doing this, art can mitigate the numbing effect created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing. Art also encourages us to cherish intuition and to accept uncertainty.

‘The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.’ Pablo Picasso

Don't put off until tomorrow what you should do today!

Ways to thrive in an uncertain world: Create your way through to positivity

Today, more than ever, it seems there are valid reasons to worry. Some of them are the ever increasing costs in everyday life, insecurity in the workforce, security of the country, and the increasing crime rate. However, there are many situations when there’s no logical reason to worry, and it causes a significant amount of anxiety.

Why making art is the new meditation

Many of us have heard about the benefits of meditation, but sometimes find it hard to do.  Fewer of us know about the benefits of artistic expression. Creating art, however, is another way to access a meditative state of mind and brings about profound healing. Group meditation is a regular occurrence during our art workshops and often people don't realise they slip into this state on a frequent basis. We thought it would be helpful to spend a little more time explaining why art is so good for you and that checking yourself in to regular creative sessions is going to help you discover yourself and develop healthy routines in creative art & craft making. We have people attend from all walks of life, abilities, ages, and they have all made breakthroughs, if not with the first workshop then subsequent classes.

The French - American Artists, Louise Bourgeois once said, “Art is a guarantee to sanity,” (she died at age 98 in 2010!!!). She went on to add, “…This is the most important thing I have said.” For Bourgeois, — making art — was a tool for coping with overwhelming emotions. She remembers making small sculptures out of bread crumbs at the dinner table when she was a little girl – as a way of dealing with her dominating father. Art was more than an escape – it kept her sane!

Art therapy has a healing effect for a variety of ailments, including depression, trauma and illness, it is effective across age, gender or ethnicity. In a recent study of cancer patients, an art therapy intervention — in conjunction with conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation — not only diminished symptoms typically associated with cancer such as pain, fatigue and anxiety, but also enhanced life expectancy. The study, was based on the belief that “the creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life-enhancing. It is used to help patients, or their families, increase awareness of self, cope with symptoms, and adapt to stressful and traumatic experiences.”

Art is not only healing for individuals suffering from severe illness. Here are four reasons why creative activity is such a potent recipe for psychological well-being:

1. Art is a vehicle for meditation and self-connection

Most of us can understand that art provides an escape to a sometimes harsh reality, but where does art’s healing potential come from? It impacts the state of our minds: Enjoying emotional stability is largely about taking responsibility for how we feel. Research has shown the power of meditation and the science behind it. One of the reasons it is so powerful is that it encourages acceptance. Creating art is a form of meditation, an  active training of the mind that increases awareness and helps us accept feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind to a state of 'Mindfulness'.

Art, like meditation, allows us to create space between our negative, anxious thoughts and connect with our true selves – as opposed to fleeting or false sense of identity we sometimes have when we are caught up in our thoughts and emotions. Creating art focusses the mind to reach a state of consciousness, a mindfulness and breaking free from the constant chatter of the mind.

2. Art provides a feeling of flow and freedom

Similarly to meditation, art can help us tap into a deeper and more quiet part of ourselves. We enter into a state of flow and present-moment awareness. Artists experience that creative activity has the potential to tap into a space of true consciousness of being, void of interpretation. In this space, there can be a sense of having no physical parameters; no body, or form to separate one from the other.

3. Art allows for true self-expression

The process of making art overrides the need for verbal communication. Creativity is its own language and enables humans to connect with one another — and themselves — on a non-verbal level. In therapy it can be an effective way of saying the unspeakable as is shown through the use of creative therapies with children. This also explains how we can be moved to the core when looking at a work of art, or even listening to music, without necessarily knowing the specifics about its origin. Art exists within its own non-verbal parameter and thus frees us up for self-expression.

4. Art helps us become steady and centered

Practicing art regularly will help you create healthy thoughts and experience mindfulness. Happiness may be less a matter of experiencing sharp highs (often followed by deep lows), and more a matter of nurturing a space that provides stability and a constant connection to our true selves.

Conclusion:You cannot run from the future, but you can give your best to create a positive future right here and now.

We have people attend from all walks of life, all abilities, ages and they have all made breakthroughs, if not with the first workshop then subsequent classes. If you are a complete beginner, sometimes you need room for a little patience and perseverance but after years of experience we have the ability to guide you there.

★ Take a look at our new workshop offerings for adults here 🙋

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