Star Island Arts Conference

After a long journey from Star Island in the Isles of Shoalesto Wilmington, Delaware I woke up Sunday morning in my own bed, a little sad. My body was home but my heart was still there.

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Photo by Barry Simon

I will have a hard time teaching Expressive Painting in a new environment because I know nothing will ever come close to what happened on Star Island. I’m going to try to recap the experience for myself and the many new friends I made.

I opened with an exercise from Betty Edwards book Drawing on the Artist Within. Drawing Out Insight exercise: Drawing with marks alone, no pictures the emotions 1. Anger, 2. Joy, 3. Peacefulness (Tranquility), 4. Depression, 5. Human Energy, 6. Femininity, 7. Illness, 8. Your Choice.
Draw how the emotion makes you feel, I instructed. We discussed the similarities and differences in the drawings.

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Then they chose one emotion to do an ink painting of with some really beautiful results.

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For homework I instructed everyone to look at colors, here are a few photos I took that day.

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Day 2: Color

I shared color poems, and we wrote color poems, how a color smells, sounds, feels, tastes, looks, makes you feel and other associations.

Painting with large sponge brushes we painted color fields of one or two colors per page.

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I had fun photographing them in different arrangements.

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Homework was to look at texture. Photos I took that day.

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Day 3: Texture – Using tools to create texture in the paint. Painting over dried color paintings to create layers.

Art imitates nature. Look at the similarities.

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Homework was to look at shapes. Here are some photos I took.

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After a while everything looked like a painting to me.

Day 4: Mono Printing Shapes
We did a fun exercise with shapes and their meanings that everyone seemed to enjoy.
I demonstrated additive and subtractive painting techniques on palette paper to make prints on dried paintings from color and texture explorations.

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Elizabeth’s monoprint

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Day 5: Collage with painted papers created on days 2, 3 and 4

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Bettie’s Work

Day 6: Collage with some instruction on composition and negative space.
Look at all the finished work on the walls.

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Finished work in order by Betsy, Bettie, Christine, Darby, Holly, Cynthia, Jean, Joan, Kathy and others
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Samantha’s finished collage mimicked her ink painting from the first day. She had 2 others I didn’t get photos of that looked like the island in ocean blue waves.

Fred loved painting and gave me the best testimonial. He said “You gave me permission to put emotion in my art.”

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Here are some of Fred’s paintings I wish I would have photographed more, he was very prolific.

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I read daily excerpts from Eric Maisel’s book Fearless Creating:

Hushing Exercise- page 5,
Holding – page 6,
Wildness Rules – page 14,
Thought for Food – page 28,
Surrender to Order Chaos – page 144,
Hating the Work – page 156

And I meant to share Criteria for Completion – page 173
Ask yourself is it Alive, is it Powerful, is it Suggestive, is it Resonant, is it Wild and I added is it Sublime? You can add your own as you continue down the path of creating expressive visual art.

Star Island Conference on the Arts

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I’m so excited to announce that I will be teaching this summer on Star Island at the Star Arts Conference, June 16 – 23, 2012.

“Star Arts is a week-long creative arts conference set on beautiful Star Island, ten miles off the coast of New Hampshire. Whether you are a beginner or professional, an active participant or interested observer, Arts offers a chance to express your artistry and celebrate your uniqueness in a breathtaking and supportive environment.

Join us. Make new friends. Discover hidden talents. Create a masterpiece or just enjoy the extraordinary beauty of this magical island. Star Arts offers an unforgettable opportunity to experience creativity, a sense of community and individual spirituality.” excerpted from the website.

I will be teaching Expressive Painting, helping participants to understand and achieve their goals for self expression. Working with painting, printmaking and collage techniques we will explore line, shape, form, space, color and texture in regards to communicating in a visual language. Inspiration will be found in nature and personal stories.

I will be bringing inexpensive bulk supplies for planned activities, so those who wish can simply pay a materials fee of $15 per person and save your good materials for serious application. This will cover the paper, acrylic paint and the painting tools. However, participants may want to bring their own supplies for the last day to apply what they’ve learned in their chosen medium.

Workshops are in the mornings leaving the afternoons free to relax, explore the island or work on art projects. Evening activities include performances and chapel. It’s camp for adults. I can’t wait!