A Tribe of Chickens
"Deconstructed Dreamscape" - mixed media on watercolor paper, 22 x 30. Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
My love affair with chalky abstracts continues...this one is my largest yet! Layers upon layers. It was a chameleon, changing its colors, composition and meaning with each layer, following the path of twisting dreams.
Last week, I was reminded again of the deeply satisfying energy of tribe. A workshop of creative souls, willing to cast their cares into the wind and explore new approaches to letting the art chickens out of the hen house. The laughter and camaraderie surrounded us like fluffy mounds of cotton candy, Sweet sticky goodness. The transformative miracle of creative play. If you've never seen a tribe of art chickens, you are living a deprived existence. :)
It takes a lot of personal energy to teach a workshop, leaving me truly exhausted and craving pajamas and tea. But it also refills my bucket of inspiration and joy - the incredible creativity of others, the heart-felt stories of their artistic journeys, their courage...I am in awe. It leaves me more determined than ever to hold these moments in sweet reverence, building a treasure chest of joy pockets. And to cherish each and every tribal connection these moments provide.
Almost half way through Clear Seeing Place, I reached the chapter called "Tyzack" (referring to the British painter, Michael Tyzack, Rutenberg's mentor). Another short one, but it hits home "Take care how you address fellow painters, regardless of their age or resume." Rutenberg is clear that there is no room for being "dicks" to other artists. Respect, good manners and dignity for all, "because painting deserves our best selves." How wonderful, to hear an artist of his stature advocating for niceness within our tribes! I'll make this one my golden rule: "The best artists are also the nicest."
2/27/2017 02:39:02 pm
Jen, thanks for the mid afternoon snack of your art and words. You've filled my belly with wholesome food that'll keep me energized for the long haul; no empty calories spiking and burning in a quick flash here. I've only ever been to a very few workshops/classes—all of which happened to be painful for a variety of reasons. While no one was a 'dick' and no one intentionally set out to do me harm, I didn't feel respected, seen, or embraced. You've got me taking a second look at the way I carry those experiences in my memory—time to open my heart to give other opportunities a chance, perhaps!
2/27/2017 02:55:12 pm
Dotty! I, too, have been at workshops where I didn't feel seen or encouraged. It changed the way I approach teaching...it's our job to "hold space" for the participants and create the right atmosphere, not just teach techniques. That's the part that is tiring, so lots of instructors don't do it. But when they DO, shazam! Magic for everyone, especially the instructor! I hope you find just the right opportunity...everyone should be embraced for creating!
2/28/2017 04:48:14 pm
I don't teach painting classes, but my painful student experiences very much inform how I interact with the students I tutor (language arts, study skills, etc).
2/28/2017 04:59:54 pm
oooooh I am sending you a cyber hug, Dotty! Undoing that kind of experience is tough. I know you are a kind and compassionate instructor no matter what you are teaching. :)
3/9/2017 03:47:03 am
I see dreams dancing in this piece. Your workshop sounds great, my fantasy is to take part in a workshop, adding overseas flying fees, it remains a dream.
3/9/2017 06:56:55 am
Carol! Any chance you can get to Ireland in December? I will be there all month at the Olive Stack Gallery. Still flying, but not quite so far?
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