I'm writing from my cabin in the woods in the Haliburton highlands. It's simply gorgeous here. Last week I taught my 5 day Painting Mixed Media Layers workshop to 14 lovely women at the Haliburton School of Art + Design. What an amazing week!
On the first two days it was like kindergarten. We played with paint, collage, texture and unusual tools such as trowels and BBQ scrapers on flat 12" x 12" birch panels. There was so much joy in the room. The word for the third day was SIMPLIFY. Time to work on lager panels and be more thoughtful, thinking about shapes, composition, colour and lines.
The paintings you see here were the result of our SIMPLIFY exercises — started and finished in a day and a half. There was a big push on to have them finished for Thursday afternoon. Every year at this time there is a "Walk About" when students and the public visit all the courses happening at the school to see what they want to take next year.
I hung these larger pieces on the white walls of our room with info tags under them in gallery style. The visitors were blown away with the students' work. One man commented that these paintings were better than some of the art he had seen at the National Gallery in Ottawa the week previous!
I'm always amazed by the incredible work my students produce when they allow themselves to let go, to explore and create from within. And I love the supportive bond that develops between all of us over the week. If you ever get the chance, take a course at the Haliburton School of Art + Design.
Check out the sidebar at my blog for other mixed media workshops coming up. I hope to see you at one or more of them :)
I believe we all have a strong, basic need to explore and create. When we give ourselves permission to play, to be child-like again, we discover who we are. Magic is invited in.
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Fancy sleeping on air.