Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Artist's Way: Recovering a Sense of Power

There was such energy last night in the third meeting of my Artist’s Way Creative Cluster. After our sharing time, and a brief break, the ladies settled in to do Touch Drawing. I had already set up the space, and Sinatra, the Art Kitty, eagerly awaited for the ink to begin flowing.

I was introduced to Touch Drawing a couple of years ago by Bridget Benton when I took her Art-Making as Playful Prayer at the DIY Lounge in Portland.

It was such an inspiring activity, that I incorporated it into my Creative Clusters. The process itself was developed by Deborah Koff-Chapin and is described in her small book, Drawing Out Your Soul: The Touch Drawing Handbook. Basically you squirt a small dab of block printing ink onto a piece of glass, use a brayer to spread it out, then lay down a piece of paper. Using your hands, you run your fingertips over the paper to create spontaneous and heartfelt images.

The lights were dimmed and on the iPod, Steve Gordon’s Drum Prayer was playing. The women’s fingers danced across the paper. Deborah suggests using thin papers such as sumi or rice paper for the best results. I decided to experiment a bit and I gathered an assortment of papers for the women to use: sumi paper, onionskin, bond, vellum, even pages from a telephone book. The results were magnificent.

I asked the ladies to select their favorite image. Here is what they chose:

On a side note, Deborah Koff-Chapin is coming to Portland on Sunday, February 22 and will be presenting a one-day workshop at the Grotto, entitled Touch Drawing: A Method for Creative Spontaneous Expression. I’ve signed up for this class and if you are interested in attending, please visit Deborah's website for registration information.

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