What informs? When creating, sources can be anything. (Think various artists–Warhol, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, Degas, Stella, Sherman, Rothko, Whistler—everyone, not necessarily in that order) It’s how you choose, filter, combine, edit. It’s how you let the senses overlap and how emotions become part of the dabs and dots, lines and shapes. It’s how color washes over you and your work or how the lack of it says what needs to be said.
Is it the fresh burst of the cherry trees outside the studio that makes your chest swell or the withered leaf blown behind shed? Perhaps it’s the smile of your grandchild— or grandmother. Maybe it’s that horse you rode in a dream or the sun on water or on that building on the hill across the river, or the idea that corporate greed is unjust, or that Diana Nyad can swim from Cuba to Florida (http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_never_ever_give_up) . Or maybe it’s Cuba? Or Florida? It’s bound to be different at different times. Discovery can come as a complete surprise. Awareness is key.
Contemporary artist known for ‘recycling’ found bits, John Balderssari: “The art is about getting to the heart of the matter.” (http://www.baldessari.org/)
How do we get to the heart of the matter is one question and how we communicate it is another.
Tolstoy—“ To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced… then, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed…. to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling — this is the activity of art.”
So with some awareness, some recycling, some feelings experienced and already expressed by a fellow-artist AND collaboration we are going to work on composition, which is the structure of visual communication. Collage may be an excellent option so tuck a few things in your bag or search the collage box when you come into the studio. Consider subject ideas knowing you will be working in teams of two. Ponder what gets to the heart of the subject. I (and dear friend Beverly) will provide the initial substrate. You and your partner will provide the energy, insight, and evolution for an effective composition by merging ideas and elements. The course of the activity for some may be shorter than for others so plan for that. Those anxious to get to work on other things will likely have some time after the exercise.