Star Island Arts Conference
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.
Then they chose one emotion to do an ink painting of with some really beautiful results.
For homework I instructed everyone to look at colors, here are a few photos I took that day.
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.
I had fun photographing them in different arrangements.
Homework was to look at texture. Photos I took that day.
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.
Homework was to look at shapes. Here are some photos I took.
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.
Day 5: Collage with painted papers created on days 2, 3 and 4
Day 6: Collage with some instruction on composition and negative space.
Look at all the finished work on the walls.
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.”
Here are some of Fred’s paintings I wish I would have photographed more, he was very prolific.
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.