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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Experimental Art: When You Explore...You Become Brave With Each New Step You Take

When I first posed the idea of creating this class to a couple of people that I work with in a parallel sort of way,  they were unsure of it's appeal because of how different it is and how dark it can be compared to my other work. 

Sometimes darkness equates with not so nice things like death, macabre, destruction.

But there are ways to put light into darkness and to come full circle from the different to the enlightening.  

In some ways, that's what we accomplished this week in my first full length live version of my class Grunge, Ink (which has been for almost a year an online class of mine).  I've done demonstrations first with high school students and then with a small group of artists, but this was my first time teaching it on location with a group of adventurous artists.  

The venue for so much inspiration?  The Art More Place in Melbourne, Florida.  As you'll see from some of these pictures, the place is HUGE. It's colorful. It's inspiring! It's a electric!
I'ts magical.  First because of the space, but secondly and most importantly because of the people at the helm who are fostering all of this creativity,  Sherri Otcenasek and her 'gift daughter'  Jane. Then those people at the helm keep multiplying as more and more artists meander their way through for residencies and for classes, all of which attributes to the magic that abounds through the air as soon as you walk through the doors.

Some of the questions I heard from students about to take the class or who were taking the class but still unsure if they were going to like the process...

But do I have to use this?  Is there anything else besides Yupo.  I don't want to use black.   Can I use ....can I do...

The answer I had to say at least for this instance was to just trust me.

Trust that I'm going to lead you down a path of discovery.

It's going to be experimental.  You are going to either love it or hate it.  My goal in either of those cases is to guide you into a experimental zone of creativity.  To open up your mind and help you explore what is possible.  Be open to what can happen when you simply EXPLORE.

 When you become brave with each new step you take.

You also enter a world of discovery when you step out of your comfort zone.

When you are not tied to the outcome, you leave room for break through moments.

 The more you experiment, the greater chance for success that you have.

I'm so glad my students chose to trust me and to enjoy a day...a weekend of play and experimental processes!

The room was overfilling with joy and many aha moments.

Let's try this with that....

Why not???

How about I do this? 

Can I????

Wow! Look at this??

Is this not cool?

Pieces, papers, artwork, paint,  tools...oh my...everywhere!

I started off with like 200 hundred sheets of paper and every sheet was either used or sold at the end for additional practice at home.

That's a lot of art!!!!!

Here's some of the students and a piece or two that they chose to exhibit from their 'collection'.

I love the diversity of each and everyone's work!!

I love the fact that every student took a chance on their self and did something that may have been way out of their comfort zone or so unlike what they normally do.

It's not easy to be immersed into something new with a room full of friends we haven't met yet.

Despite any initial hesitation,   we all saw that inspiration from each other fed into our own work and that led to some pretty fantastic moments throughout the entire weekend.

I also saw many students work with each other as is the case in all classes.  You didn't have to look far if you needed encouragement or advice, or even to use something someone else had brought along.  Artists are so giving and kind.  

I think the hardest part is being kind with ourselves.  

We are our own worst critic.

We need to get out of our own way to soar to new heights. 

Everyone around us is cheering us on...just look.  You can find the support system you need to do whatever it is you want to do...just look!

I'm so grateful this entire group took the plunge and joined in our workshops this weekend!  Having never taught in Florida before, I was entering into uncharted territories myself and was even rather nervous about it!!
I'm always nervous before teaching...especially when I'm teaching something I haven't taught (in person) or in a new place.  

If I let my fear of doing something new...trying something new,  going someplace new,  experimenting with new ideas...well I would have missed out on a great opportunity to work with 
fantastic artists such as all these women and more that I'm featuring today.    

The bigger picture...I'd miss out on really so many things that my career has blossomed into.
The list is endless.

For those of you who missed this weekend of workshops at Art More Place,  great news--I will be back next year!!!  I am super excited about returning!  We are still working out dates and possible classes but whatever we do,  I hope you decide to join in on the fun. As you can see from the pictures, its a wonderful venue in so many ways and on so many levels!!!!

My next class for Grunge Ink (Live) will be at Random Arts in Saluda, NC where I kick off a weekend of workshops with this class at the end of September.  Random Arts is another little magical place nestled in the mountains of North Carolina that I love love love so much.  It's a smaller venue so be sure to sign up soon, the class is limited to 12 students. 

**I'm also planning on a couple more in person classes in 2016 for this workshop as it is just really fantastic and 'needs' to be shared! lol!!!   

If an in person class is not in the cards right now for you,  I do teach a version of this class online over at  Click here for more information.

EVEN if you have taken the class online,    I recommend taking the class (and vice versus) in person.  It's kinda like buying a cd from a favorite musician and then going to a concert...or like I said, vice versus.  There are benefits to both options that are just as energizing and educational.

More happy smiling students and new friends!

I love all the colors everyone chose for their work!

I love the marks they made and awesome texture discovered!!

So back to the questions I had from many of the students before we began....

When you ask why,  I respond with why not?

Can I?   I say,  it's worth a shot,   I don't always know an outcome when I venture into an 'experiment'. I don't always like what I do, but I always learn something new.

And there are times when I venture into something I new...I fall in love in ways I never thought were possible!   That's the moment you feel most alive!

We communicate with others through our art.  It's hard to say what you don't know, until you just say it while following your instinct.  That's how you get passed the unknown fear. You do it so many times until it becomes second nature and more about your vision, than your idea if that makes sense.

Here's Sherri, the Owner of Art More Place   she is the magic behind this amazing venue!

The more knowledge we gain through experiments and unbridled learning,   we become more confidant.

Knowledge breeds confidence.

Don't be afraid to learn.

Thank you for trusting your experience this weekend in me...and thank you to all of you who have trusted in me in the past to teach you not only about art, but hopefully a little bit about yourself.

***Looks like a missed a few peeps in their 'exhibit' shots'.....sooooo sorry!!!!!*** But here we are all together!!!

See you next year or sooner!

Keep experimenting.

Keep being brave.

Keep believing in yourself!!!

Keep arting!!


Until we meet again!