Designing a New Path

Think digging up and laying in, adding and subtracting layers, providing boundaries, joining areas and elements, propping up and fortifying, leading to and barring access–mix in a little alchemy and some imagination and you will have directions for a brilliant new route to a creative outcome.

 The “Follow the Leader” exercises we’ve done have been worthy guides because they were designed to minimize the thinking and maximize the seeing when developing a painting.  Checking caution and worry while simply following instructions and trusting your visual instincts has resulted in great satisfaction and some really good work.

We’ve done it a few times now–once with each person in class providing step by step instruction for a partner.  Then I’ve created a couple of different lists of directives that several of you have followed repeatedly.

It is time for you to design a course to follow for yourself. 

This week we will discuss the hows and whys of what works and what doesn’t, the intentions of each move, and see what passageways we can create. I will offer a few “mandatory” guidelines just to get started.

Be thinking….then see if you can stop thinking and follow yourself down a rabbit hole of your own making and come back out the other side. Be courageous and free and don’t be afraid to make a mess.  Trust you can use a “mess” to further your understanding of the process. 

Some things—:

* Jot down ideas and things you like to do as they pop in your head. 

* Look at art and design then make a note of what captivates you.  We will see what we can do to incorporate it into your instructions. 

* If there is a specific skill you’d like to learn or practice, make it one of your commands.

* If you admire another’s work or technique see if they will share it then make that a part.

* Be sure to include elements that abandon control.

*Address how to choose subject.

* Be aware of size, format and substrate.

You will want at least 10 to 12 instructions or your piece will be too thin to get much out of it and not enough to wade through.

A comment from Gary regarding a realization from “following” the process:   “So what I realized is my pattern….when lost…try bright colors and scrubbing…which kept me lost. After that failed I finally tuned in and realized it was a lack of bones that was the problem.

So even fighting with a piece is a way to learn about how to fight! 

Ahhh, that’s the ticket!

This will take a couple of weeks as the many different elements of painting will be explored by different people in different ways. You don’t want to be too planned or too cautious but at the same time you want to lead yourself “somewhere”.

This is going to be fascinating, fun and hopefully a little messy.

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2 Responses to Designing a New Path

  1. sheila martin says:

    JoAnn, Thank you so much for these blogs. They are inspirational and I know they take tons of time and energy to create. Can’t wait to get back in there!

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