Coming back to my studio legs after traveling to Ann Arbor, Michigan to teach a 2 day workshop focused on my painting *methods*. I use that term loosely because I'm not sure if what I do would be an actual method. The 'steps' can seem frenzied and the furthest thing from planned. Yet, according to the 11 people in attendance, it made some sense. I have reached a point in the trajectory of my own learning to reach out to experienced adults a bit, even though my ways are not so straightforward. The key to working organically is to gather all kinds of skills, and keep moving even when in doubt. Solutions appear, even if it means destroying what you just did. Like I often say, it's just paint.
A lot was thrown at these students, who came armed with new tools, plenty of questions, and more courage than I think they knew they had. I'm really proud of them. It's tough to butt up against hard wired 'art rules', and jump off into the unknown. We artists have been conditioned to invest so much study and seriousness into what we make; and rightly so, fundamentals are important. However, the balance of lightness, of play, all wrapped up in the disguise of frustration can be equally liberating.
What I hope to instill in these workshops is that the painting reveals itself TO you. No need to stress ahead of time. Our job is to see that big reveal happening as we work, and trust that vision. It takes time, and a ton of patience (believe me, I am lacking this skill often.)
And finally, a glimpse into my world of studio reality. Juggling interruptions, dealing with my head, and finally recognizing the way. Special thanks to photographer Jerry Mann for finding the connecting threads so beautifully.