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Showing posts from August, 2015

Mindful Play

I've always considered play to be the driving force that leads my work. It takes me into new territory, helps me break boundaries and express myself in different ways. Mindful play is the sort of play that It involves preparing ourselves in an inner way, calming our minds and bringing ourselves into the present moment. It also involves coming to the work with an understanding of structure. It's not thinking about design, it's more that we have incorporated that knowledge and then we let it go. In the same way, we can't pick up a saxophone and become jazz musicians by blowing random notes. Jazz has structure and skill behind it and the musician moves beyond it in order to fly.

My current work as in the photo above, began this past winter after an intense year of work in preparation for a major exhibition. After the work was completed, I needed to have a respite and simply play with paint on paper. There's a freedom in working on paper. I can experiment in a different…

Can You Play?

Each class I teach has it's own personality and demands different things from me. In the workshop I taught last week  my students were gradually moving forward in their work but seemed to be struggling. I spent the first few days teaching them techniques of working with cold wax and oil as well as the elements of design, encouraging them to make small quick paintings alongside the others that they were developing. The idea was to combine play and structure. Often students figure it all out on Day 3, but on the fourth day into this workshop, many were still stuck in the structure part. It was my job to find a new way to help them break through. Several people asked me if I'd demonstrate how to play.

I have always had respect for teachers who are able to paint in front of their classes but I am reluctant to do it, partly because I find it hard to be a performance artist, but also because I want the students to realize there are many ways of working and to find their own way.