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Showing posts from April, 2014

"I Am in The Surrender Business"

In his book, Free Play, Stephen Nachmanovitch, an improvising musician,  wrote, "I am not in the music business, I am not in the creativity business; I am in the surrender business. Improvisation is acceptance, in a single breath, of both transience and eternity. Surrender means cultivating a comfortable attitude toward not-knowing, being nurtured by the mystery of moments that are dependably surprising, ever fresh".

Last weekend, I taught a cold wax and oil painting workshop in my studio with eight artists, some of whom were very advanced.  I always teach the elements of design in my workshops-a good refresher for those who have studied them and an intro for those who have not.  One artist who is an accomplished figurative painter, had great difficulty dividing the painting surface into shapes.  I tried in various ways to help her understand what I was after, drawing some pictures for her, showing her the work of other artists, and explaining in various ways.  Yet she didn…

Talking About Being Vulnerable

In the deep cold of winter in the past week before the spring thaw, I was privileged to have some heart-warming conversations with several artists about their work.  These were soul-searching conversations about  what our lives are about.  In Winnipeg, I visited my friend John King’s current exhibition called Calligraphic Influences at theBuhler Galleryin St. Boniface, Manitoba. He spoke about his work in a very reflective and passionate way, explaining how that series of work came to be, and how he came to understand what it was about. His paintings, while very joyful and playful, revealed some of John’s deep concerns about life, fragility and vulnerability. Art teaches us about who we are.

That same day, a group of seven of us met for lunch at the home of Jane Gateson.  The group meets for lunch and discussions now and again, and have dubbed themselves The Qwesters (the questing westerners). I get to attend a session when I’m in town, which we call our AGM!  The group this day was ma…