I’m writing my book at the moment, and it’s a big deal.
Creativity and Imagination are invisible. They are concepts. They make us feel, but they are not emotions. They are intangible and intuitive. So talking about art and where ideas come from and the creative decisions I make is like untangling the vines that covered Sleeping Beauty. The serene truth lies within, I just have to make it through…
This isn’t my first rodeo. I have written books before, so I know how intense the process is for me. It’s easy to get lost and find the stress instead of the joy of such a big project. So, I factored in some retreats to my schedule from the start ( clever, right?). My first break was a workshop with Orly Avinieri. My second break was a workshop with Jesse Reno last weekend.
I am still processing what happened in those three days. It was potent. Epic. I de-calcified and came to some great understandings of my own art practice.
Art Workshops are are way to unleash your creative force. A chance to get uncomfortable and challenge yourself. To grow in confidence. To test your skills and to nourish them. You can walk in another artist’s shoes and see how MAGIC the creative process is to witness.
Watching Jesse was like being part of a mystical circle where the head magician conjured up spirits.
I had a realisation about exposing and accepting the meaning in my work. I learned there is room to work intuitively and thoughtfully. Jesse also has a way of thinking about composition that took me three days and 5 paintings to grasp. I dreamed about it. It won’t make me change my art ( it is what it is!), but it has opened pathways within my process. And I had many, many aha moments.
The reason I found this workshop so nourishing, so creative, so mind-blowing is because of Jesse’s ability to communicate his creative process. He never relied on “just use your intuition”… he would ask the questions of himself that sit behind artist intuition and let us in on the conversation.
I know those are hard questions to answer, because it’s what I do as a teacher. The creative process is so dense with movement and concepts, emotion and ideas. On the face of it, it’s intangible and trying to tease it apart takes courage.
I have been to many workshops where we simply watch the artist create. The whole workshop is a demonstration. That can be entirely inspirational and informative. But when an artist can create AND communicate about the choices they are making by offering a running commentary as they are caught up in creative flow… well that’s a rare experience.
I believe I teach this way. My creative methods and style are very different to Jesse’s, but I could see elements of commonality. Maybe that is why the workshop resonated to my absolute roots. The weekend wasn’t easy, I didn’t coast. I had to work hard and stay focused and deplete my energy, so I still feel kind of exhausted after all that painting. But my inspiration cup is full.
My biggest highlight was watching Jesse paint on the floor, his fingers flying, paint flowing… and when he liked something he would say ” Oh that’s pretty, yeah”. Hearing a dude embrace his love of pretty? Oh man… revolutionary, extraordinary, crazy talented and entertaining. Well, you can see how happy I was.
If you EVER get the opportunity to study with an artist that inspires you, embrace it! Seriously. Take the risk, move heaven and earth, tuck your fears away and go have an adventure.
So back to the book.
My task is deciphering the creative choices I make as an artist into words that are cohesive and inspirational. It’s so different to teaching in person and online. There is no body language to let me know if I have untangled a concept to satisfaction. No faces in the audience to light up or soft “ooooh’s” and “aaaaahs” as I demonstrate. No Facebook Group to turn to to see the awesome homework rolling in.
Writing this book It is a monster challenge and every page is making me a better teacher. Probably a better artist as well.
The only spaces I have left on my USA tour are the 2 day workshops at Art is You: “Girlimals” and “Mermalicious”.
Both are a golden opportunity to work in-depth in your own style with me. We will be creating total magic.
The retreat is on Olive Branch Tennessee – 30 minutes from the Memphis airport and promises to be an amazing experience. You can select from a smorgasboard of amazing workshops and attend for 1 day or all 7.
Workshop details are here: click
pps. This is a quick little painting of Tinsel…