Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Aimone Workshop has finished!

And quite well, after all! Here's Steve as he gave feedback at our end-of-session circle.

By the end of the day everyone was tired. It's been physically draining and emotionally/mentally challenging. And that's wonderful since at the end all of us seemed creatively energized and also so grateful for the experience of this workshop.

This is my third workshop with Steve and each time I learn something new about myself and about my ways of working with visual media. I'm introduced to more ideas about design, composition, concept, and how the art making process can be ABOUT the process and not just depend upon describing things. How it can tell us so much through the energy put onto the surface by the artist. You can read more description about the workshop at this link on his website--
That description is only the tip of the artistic iceberg, however. You have to experience a Steven Aimone workshop to know what I mean!

By the way, Steve mentioned today that there are two openings in an upcoming workshop in Maine, but otherwise his workshops are full for the rest of the year.

The negative feelings about my own work that I expressed yesterday were not so strong today. Part of the reason that I felt more positive was that I had wonderfully encouraging feedback from Steve and other participants, as well as several online friends. Although I didn't make the post to seek approval or pats on the back (although I'm very grateful for those), I made my comments because I think that many people have similar feelings and sometimes one thinks one is all alone in feeling that way. By writing my feelings as I made the post I realized that I've been through this cycle of up and down many times before. And most artists who I know also experience this. Recognizing the circular nature of the creative process is key to helping me remember and know that things will look differently tomorrow... probably. And if not actually tomorrow, at least sometime in the future. from today and in no particular order! Thanks again, Steve, for another grand experience. Thanks to all of the rest of the participants who plunged to it all with such verve. Back to reality tomorrow!

I'll start with a photo that Cheri took of me yesterday as we worked with one of the exercises... this one was to set up rhythm with a tool held in a way that connected to the body but wasn't "normal"--if you think that holding a brush or pencil in one's hand is "normal."

Here I'm making rhythmic pattern with a brush taped to a long roll of cardboard, and with my elbows against my body. Later, those marks were cut up and collaged to create yet another rhythmic arrangement.

Steve's wife, Katherine, takes in one of the works from today. Katherine is an amazing artist and writer.

One of Katherine Aimone's paintings on the wall... she brought one in for us to see.
And below are some of Steve's works that he showed us after the workshop ended:

And... I'll end with a photo of the state of my lovely working space in the studio at the last of the workshop today. Almost everything in the car and ready to drive to Georgia.

Thanks again, Steve!

And here are links to my 2008 and 2012 workshop blog posts about my Steven Aimone workshop experiences:

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 29, 2013

Another day at the Aimone workshop... or what in the heck am I doing??

Well. Here I sit, back in my room, discouraged and downhearted. But that's OK. That's OK. I keep telling myself this. I realized during my afternoon mopes as I struggled through another challenge that I might have expected to feel out of sync today. I should have been clued in when my inner critic was nagging away at me around 6:30 a.m. as I did my morning pages. She (the b***h) was saying things like "I don't know why you're doing this. After all, you're not very good at it anyway." And then she went on to say, "Why are you wasting your time and that very good paint, not to mention taking a space in the class that someone else more worthy could have filled?"

So, what do I tell that inner critic. After using some salty language with her, I should tell her in a kinder tone of inner voice to ease up. Should tell her to lighten up and let me be. And I'll do that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

I know that this sounds whiny. Sorry about that. But so much GOOD STUFF happened in the studio today! There were many, many outstanding works that came into being. And Steve was constantly working his way around the room, taking in what was occurring and responding. He talked to us individually when we needed his advice; he talked to us as a group when we were at points in the current work. We did the "gallery walk" where we all went around to look at the work of everyone else, spending at least 10 seconds or longer with each person's painting.

Here are a few quick photos taken with my iPad during the day. Thanks, classmates and Steve, for allowing me to snap and post!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Phew! A day at Steve Aimone's workshop is like a week in the real world!

Here's the front of Pink Dog Studio in Asheville, NC, USA--the location of the Steven Aimone workshop I'm currently taking. Steve rents the large studio space occasionally for workshops and there are twelve participants this time. The studio is in the River Arts District where there are many studios and galleries; Asheville is a hot bed of artists of all types.

We began yesterday afternoon with an introductory session. The studio opened at 3 p.m. and we unloaded our cars with our supplies, hauling them into the building. After we got settled into our spaces, Steve collected us all in a circle of chairs in the center of the studio so that we could introduce ourselves to everyone else. He ended the session with a collection of images and quotes from many artists to orient us to the "spiritual language of art" that he encourages us to use in his workshops. The emphasis for working is nonrepresentational. We aren't describing an image or telling a story through pictorial means with the work we're doing here. Yes, this is quite different than the way I normally work since I'm most often so tied to picture, to image, to representation. Yet, this is my third workshop with Steve. Why? For one reason, I need to push my limits. Yes, yes, I know that those limits are only self-imposed. But each time I work with Steve a shift happens for me. I feel that I move to another level with my tapestry design work. So... about every two years or so, I take the plunge again. Move out of my comfort zone and into the unknown with another brief journey with Steven Aimone.

So here are a few photos of from today's session in which we did five challenges.

Steve applies tape to the floor about five or so feet from one's working surface. This is one's "toe mark" and where one should step back to after a few seconds of working in the automatic drawing exercise.

Here Steve demonstrates how he wants us to move forward to engage the surface with a rapid response--holding the tool (brush, charcoal, graphite) at the end of the tool and leaning in, almost like a fencer, to make the rapid strokes within just a few seconds, then moving back to the toe mark. Once away from the surface, we were to quickly look and again move forward to respond.

Here's the results of my automatic drawing exercise. Once we'd made marks we were asked to "veil" or "obliterate" parts using white paint. The surface became very interesting as the marks were changed by the paint.

Steve discusses Nancy's work with her. His feedback is critical and yet kind. It's always to the point. It's amazing to me that he can see and respond so clearly to each person. And he does this over and over again all through the day, and all throughout the workshop.

Steve photographs resulting works throughout the session, as well.

Participants discuss their works with each other, too.

My working space is quite a mess by the end of the day!

And here are a couple of my things at the end of the day. Maybe I can get there by 8:30 in the morning to make a few changes to the one on the right... we'll see!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Pink Dog Studio, Asheville, NC

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Florida Tropical Weavers Guild workshop--final thoughts

I arrived home yesterday afternoon from the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild conference.  It's a long drive from north Georgia to central Florida where the conference was held so I broke the return trip into two days.  Luckily, I arrived at the studio just before the start of some heavy rainfall.  I jumped out, threw open the doors and start hauling stuff out of the car.  I got it all inside before the bottom fell out of the clouds.  But, here's what the front room at the studio looks like right now--I'm going to start unpacking and organizing in a few minutes.

The workshop participants were such a great group to work with.  And having Sidsel as the class angel was tremendous.  Here she and I are at the end of the workshop, standing at her loom:

Now... a few photos of work in progress and several pieces that were cut off at the end of the session on Sunday.  Thanks again to the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild for inviting me to teach at this year's conference.  I hope there will be future tapestry workshop offerings through FTWG.  And a big thanks to the fifteen participants who went with me over the weekend on this short tapestry journey!