Where did the start of the year just go? Oh, that’s right… I was consumed with writing my book.
It’s been a herculean effort so far. But I am enjoying it immensely. So far my teaching has always been verbal and demonstrative. I am in videos or there in person and able to talk you through a concept and show you when words fail me.
Writing about the creative process is a whole different process. People can’t raise their hand or ask questions in a forum.
So I am approaching my material in new ways. There is a lot of problem solving going on and I am enjoying the challenge.
I am at my most creative when I have a few boundaries in place. For this project, I set a timetable with built in art holidays so I don’t get depleted. You have to give that creative well time to refill!
My first art break was heading down to the South Coast for a weekend workshop with Orly Avineri.
What a treat it was! I stayed with Orly at Tracy Verdugo’s gorgeous home. We stayed up late and had a great chin wag while Tracy cooked the most incredible Taco soup for the next day’s class. I knew many of my fellow students from my own workshops, so that added to the fun.
I really let my creative hair down and had a mind refreshing two days. In workshops, I really try to get out of my own way and let the teaching wash over and through me. I don’t worry about trying to assert ‘my style’ or bending the teaching to my will.
In the last few hours of the last day I went into an absolute art trance. That’s how it is for me in all workshops that resonate with me. I become completely uncommunicative… entirely focused…I move with purpose..I am oblivious to all noise and everyone else in the room. At some point, I ghost.
I’ve seen photos of myself in this state and I was quite surprised. I don’t look happy. I’m not beaming as my soul expands. I don’t even look like I am enjoying myself! I am neutral. I am in my quiet and calm art frenzy. The way I am in my studio.
I had several signs that the Art Trance i went into under Orly’s tutelage was a deep one… Horned figures were turning up everywhere. As they do when I am really in that creative flow. When I am calm and happy, but still thinking about my art, mermaids fall out of every pencil and brush.
When I am am in a purely intuitive creative mode, its the aurochs horns… antelopes, Loki, harlequins … They probably mean something. But I’m not interested in deciphering myself. The meaning of them is hinted at, it tugs at the sides of my conciousness, but I feel no need to sort the reasons or meaning. It just is.
When I come out of my art trance, I feel exhausted and exhilarated. My feet feel like they are a foot beneath the ground and I’m wading through earth. My mind is still in the clouds. I feel discombobulated.
Thankfully there is always the sharing part of the Workshop. I love this final hour or so where all the participants bring their work together and we show what we have been up to. It’s fascinating how creativity settles differently on everyone and it gives me a chance to come back to myself before entering the ‘real world’ again.
Orly teaches all over the world and I recommend her workshops and her books. Her workshop was challenging and shape shifting. I would like to do an even longer one with her in some exotic location…( hint hint Orly - Get planning something in Italy for 2015 please! or maybe I’ll get to Mexico in Nov…)
My next art break is a 3 day painting workshop with Jesse Reno and I am looking forward to that already!