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!

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Location:Pink Dog Studio, Asheville, NC

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