Arty Brellas (and my friend, Tricia Stedman) invited John and me to take part in a photo shoot. While I thought we were probably a bit older than usual umbrella-painters, the opportunity seemed too good to miss.
I’ve wanted to paint a paper umbrella ever since I first saw Arty Brellas and Tricia at a Fairbridge Festival many years ago, but have always hung back, although I usually look for new opportunities to challenge myself.
Since the first time I saw Tricia, many of my grandchildren have painted these wonderful umbrellas, but Tricia and I only met and became friends when the two of us joined a Blogging Mastermind group in 2018.
I tried to check with Tricia exactly how long ago she began this amazing venture, but she’s off setting up for this year’s Fairbridge Festival! It seems as if she’s been doing it for ever!
These days she travels with her umbrellas to far-flung places like Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and to the Tiwi Islands, Brisbane, Esperance and Dowerin.
She works in schools, the street, parks and art centres. Even more interesting, she also choreographs dances for painters to display their painted umbrellas in action. Her clients on any day can be children or adults.
Last year, John and I took two great-granddaughters to Buddha’s Birthday Celebrations in Perth and met up with the ‘Umbrella Lady’. The magic for me doesn’t fade.
The creative challenge, some photos
The concept of painted umbrellas is simple, and like many simple things, full of wonder and creative challenge. Arty Brellas provides the white paper umbrellas and multiple, beautiful coloured paints.
Only the imagination and skills of the artists limit what can happen next.
Surrounded by Tricia’s friends at the lovely Hyde Park, two kilometres from the Perth CBD, on a sunny autumn day, John and I had a go. It would be easy to pick holes in my own performance.
Indeed, the children’s creations outshone mine, perhaps because I’m not an artist, and the medium was strange. By not planning, I hoped what I’d produce would be wonderful.
And, guess what? My umbrella delights me despite its obvious naivety. Can’t wait for the next time. Thanks, Tricia and Arty Brellas.