Friday, March 29, 2013

The Artist's Way - Week Twelve: Recovering a Sense of Faith . . . . . OUR FINAL GATHERING!

Last Tuesday night was the final session of my winter Creative Cluster. Six women have met weekly over the past twelve weeks to discuss The Artist's Way, talk about Morning Pages, Artist's Dates, and life in general. Every week I had a special art or creative project for them to do in the spirit of play and experimentation. Two of the six women were unable to attend Tuesday night, so they said their good-byes last week and presented their Omega Projects (a final project done outside of class, which could be something inspired by one of our projects, or just something for fun).

On Tuesday, we did our usual check-in and discussion, but before the ladies presented their Omega Projects, we made Stone Soup.

First to present was Victoria. She made a beautiful doll with lights under her skirt, illuminating her form.

Joanna made a wonderful fabric quilt that she plans to make into a light; it looked so good both ways, she couldn't decide which direction it will go.

Francie presented a traveling altar. She had bought the wooden house with hinged doors at a garage sale and using techniques she has picked up in various classes, she made this assemblage piece.

And finally, Joanne tickled our funny bones. She had us move some furniture and sit on the floor while she climbed onto the couch with just her feet showing. She had painted her feet as people and did a mini performance for our pleasure!

Our final act was to take one of the little lingams from the simple centerpiece. Each week the women took an item from my more elaborate centerpieces so they could build a simple art altar at home; tonight the centerpiece was a single candle nestled in my dwindling supply of lingams.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oil and Cold Wax: Abstracted Play

I just completed teaching a three-week class, Oil and Cold Wax: Abstracted Play at The Art Department in downtown Salem. This was a new class for me to teach and I had six students who were willing to experiment along with me. Our first night I handed out packets with information and resources . . . .

. . . . all of our work spaces were so neat and tidy and filled with such promise and anticipation.

And then everyone got down to work - that's when the real fun began.

Some of the pieces in varied stages of completion by the end of our three weeks together.

It was agreed that the next time I offer this class that it be four weeks in length AND that homework be given in between our sessions. I can do that.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Artist's Way - Week Eleven: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy

Week Eleven. One more week before our Creative Cluster comes to an end. For our creative project on Tuesday night the ladies created personalized art dolls. We went to the basement where I had put out glitter, yarn, ribbons, paint, jewels, feathers, and wings. The ladies set to work and created five beautiful, individual dolls.

Tuesday night was the last night for two of our six so they presented their Omega Projects (a final project of their choosing). One of the ladies zentangled rocks and brought them as our centerpiece, and invited everyone to take a rock home (see the first photo above). The other woman did two projects: one was a mini altar using all of the items taken from the centerpiece over the past eleven weeks and the other was an assemblage honoring books (and has been submitted to a book arts show for consideration).

200 Rocks, 100 Students, 25 Dolls

Doing art projects with 2nd and 3rd graders is exhausting! Especially when you do four classes back-to-back. Last Friday I travelled to Tacoma, Washington to do art projects at the school where my daughter Melissa teaches. She arranged to have a friend there to help (here's Emma, a bright star throughout the day).

In the first three classes we had the students paint and embellish smooth river rocks. It was controlled chaos.

Then, after a quick lunch break, we ventured into Melissa's third grade classroom where the kids painted and embellished bendi dolls. As I was helping the students with their project, I overheard several of the kids say, "This is really fun." Mission accomplished.