“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” Eric Fromm
The exercises we did last week were designed to help let go of certanties, to suggest a new, unexpected path, to “unstick” creative impulse. It was interesting to see the way different people approached each problem. That in itself was inspiring to me.
This week we will use them again, but instead of a random selection you will present the exercise to another and give them any tips or pointers based on your experience with the challenge. Feel free to add to it or modify in any way that you think will be eye-opening.
Below are all 12 exercises:
Punch a hole in it—figuratively, of course. Create a geometric “other region”. (rectangles and squares work best) Inside that space either paint a different picture or change the time and/or temperature of what it encompasses.
Cut your painting in half. Use one half to collage onto the other half. Paint accordingly to integrate.
Eliminate every other shape. Using any color of paint, but only one color, paint out every
other shape. If the piece is too complex, set up a series of random areas, perhaps by tossing torn paper on the surface, and paint those areas in that color. See
what needs to happen next…
Pick an area that is roughly the size of one third of the surface, any shape, paint it white. Pick another area the size of roughly one half of the of the first area, any shape, paint it black. Now integrate the whole.
Paint, draw or collage a self-portrait (–your definition)- on top of your painting. Make sure it is integrated, looks “of a piece”and becomes an integrated whole.
Paint the shapes within the composition varying values of the same neutral. Example: Even if your painting is of a table and chair, those objects are defined by lines that make shapes. So every shape becomes a shade (value) of Payne’s grey or raw umber, or? Pick one color as an accent—use sparingly, dramatically.
Pick a word or any piece of a word from this instruction. Supersize it as you paint it on the top of existing painting. Integrate accordingly. OR-pick a word or a portion there-of and let its meaning be the theme of your of what your painting is about.
Paint a light colored paint over 90% of your painted surface.
Dry thoroughly. Scrub. With your non-dominant hand and your favorite
color of paint draw the items on the table in front of you using the tube as your drawing instrument. Fill the page. dry the thickly painted lines. then continue to paint until it is “of a piece.”
Divide the surface up into rectangular shapes ala Mondrian (if you don’t know who that is, get the books from our library). Make it interesting and musical suggestive of
“Broadway Boogie Woogie” but not so complex. Glaze each section with a transparent glaze in a tertiary color scheme. (Three colors next to each other on the color wheel.) Be sure to adjust contrast in small areas to reflect rhythm.
Find a compelling composition by a Renaissance painter. Photocopy in black and white. Using only his or her (ha!) linear patterns create areas in which to add flowing,
transparent colors over your painting. Dry. Use the lines to emphasize strong compositon in a singular color to unify. Continue painting until it looks good.
Turn your painting upside down. Make a sketch of it—quickly draw the overall shapes, patterns and rhythms on a separate piece of paper. Now turn the sketch upside down (this
will be the way your painting was considered to be right side up). With the painting still upside down sketch the sketch on top of it with charcoal. (perhaps wet the page so the
charcoal glides. Now paint some more.
Close your eyes. Think of the last place you visited that was meaningful, peaceful, beautiful. Remember the predominant color. Glaze your whole painting that color (make sure it is thick enough that you can carve iinto it, but thin enough to be able to seesubtle, ghostly shapes underneath. With the back of the brush, draw into the wet glaze memories from that place—shapes lines, scenes. Don’t worry about accuracy. Just make marks that sing. Dry thoroughly. With alcohol and a terry rag, begin to excavate. Uncover areas that lead to a strong composition. When there is enoughof the “old” discovered, begin to paint on it anew.