Monday, April 12, 2010

Let Us All Now Breathe

On Friday I slowed the pace a bit by taking a one-day workshop through the Lifelong Learning Institute in Salem. The class was taught by Portland artist Jef Gunn and was held at the Northwest Viticulture Center in West Salem. The title of the class was Mindfulness and the Creative Process and it was just the break I needed from my crazy, hectic schedule of the past couple of months. Here's a description of the class:

Creativity and the practice of art are the natural way of people, but most of us are trained out of it by high school. We are led to believe that art must respond to and look like the exterior world. Art begins from within, and practices of centering and mindfulness are helpful in finding an inner stance for the creative process.

Join Northwest artist Jef Gunn in this one-day workshop focused on using art practice and processes as a way of discovering mindfulness, trust and courage in ourselves. We will engage in centering practices to learn to draw, and drawing as a means of centering. We will explore color, calligraphy, compositional structure and collage – and self. If you have wanted to return to the creative being you once were, then spend this day learning the way home.

We started our day by just painting lines - any color, any direction - just painting. It was very freeing and relaxing.

After painting for an extended period of time, Jef guided us through a meditation then transitioned us into doing some sumi-e ink calligraphy, teaching us techniques and a little about the characters.

After lunch, Jef talked a bit about the creative process and then sent us outside on a walking meditation in search of our own inspiration.

When we returned, we used our paintings and calligraphy from the morning session to create a collage in response to what we discovered while outside on our walk. I was intrigued by my shadow and used that inspiration to create a collage of my shadow self.

Here I am with Jef (he had just signed his book for me, that's what I'm holding in my hand).


La Dolce Vita said...

great photos and looks like it was an awesome class!

Robin Olsen said...

How wonderful--sounds like I would love this class. Beautiful post.