"The opposite of war is not peace, it is creation".
Jonathan Larson, Poet and Playwright
I am building a tiny Cathedral/ Theatre/ School of Art for you, the people who come into my life. The things we care about are the things which are important. We care about people, the planet, the insects. We care about the oceans and the magic and mystery which keeps it all woven together. I will call us romantics. Those of us who almost can't bear to watch the news anymore. Those for whom everything seems to be moving a little too fast. Those who want to savour every minute of our children's lives and are struggling to create even a small world around us which reflects our varied and heartfelt values.
If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can draw it, you can make it. I believe this to be true for physical things, but perhaps more importantly it is true for your inner world, the place where your own reality is created.
I would like to work with a small group of people. There are many children who are looking for some proper Art learning and maybe some adults. People who want to:
1. Pay Attention 2. Make Magic 3. Create New Realities
First: The Masterbuilders (Young People)
We just watched the Lego Movie, so my first group will consist of 6 Young People (6 years +) who will unfold their amazing creative selves through 4 creative projects. These Masters of Creativity are bursting with ideas, but are too often curtailed in their brilliance by the mundane world of adults. They may have started to become frustrated with the gap between their vision and their skill. Or they may be perfecting the Art of depicting life through bug-eyed emojis to the detriment of other skills, emojis have their place but we need to open things up a bit. These people are brilliant and when gently guided are a force to be reckoned with. Does your child love making things, drawing things, spinning stories? Would you like these amazing skills to remain intact and be nurtured? Then this is the group for them. This is so much more than an Art class.
The 4 Projects
I have set our school up to run for 12 months, 4 projects of 3 months. You pay a monthly subscription of $85 (this website operates in dollars) and you can discontinue at any time. The projects are:
1. Symbolic Self Portraiture
2. Creative/ Fantasy Photography
3. Abstract Art
4. Environmental Art
Each project will teach the person new skills, while using the skills that they have. They will be working as an Artist works, and the skills they have will increase as they enjoy being in the process. So there are no beginners. There are Artists working together. Artists are always learning.
We will do three monthly technical classes with a strong focus on drawing. In addition one longer weekend session per month in which we bring the project together.
Each Project will culminate in a piece of Art which will be interesting, poignant and grow in significance as time passes.
1. Symbolic Self Portrait
This project is based on my unique Dress Portraits technique in which I illustrate a photograph of a person's dress with symbols depicting their life and loves, however in this case your child becomes the illustrator.
For your child this will mean choosing an item of clothing or an artifact (a favourite toy, image, woolly jumper, pair of boots, flower etc) which I will photograph and print out.
In our weekly technical classes we will work on teasing out our favourite things, the things which make us happy and colour who we are. We will learn to translate them into symbols which we can draw or represent on the paper in some way. I will guide the person in putting together their symbolic portrait which will become a treasured Artwork for you, (or them, you may have to fight about it).
2. Creative Photography
Another of my own favourite techniques. For this we will be using our drawing and symbolic skills to plan a fantasy photoshoot with the child as protagonist. This Project will involve planning the story and then creating the backdrop and costumes with which we will tell the story. For each project I will be contracting in an Artist for one of the monthly weekend sessions who specializes in a different way in one of the skills we are building. For this I will bring in someone who will work with us on simple and effective costuming and on how to express ideas through your body when posing.
3. Abstract Art
Abstract art is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful things about it. Abstract art gives you the freedom to explore a subject with a different set of senses and skills, creating your own meaning in a piece. Understanding abstract art is fun: all it requires is an open mind and a big imagination.
After a few months of representational Art it will be great to let go and breathe and get into a different headspace. People think that abstract Art is easy, but as we all know creating simplicity, wordlessness, visual poetry is all but easy. Many Artists end up at Abstraction after a long career of learning their visual language. It is a culmination. Abstract Artists are the poets of the visual world.
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.
haiku poem by Basho Matsuo (1644-1694)
4. Environmental Art
For the final project we will be taking all that we have learned into nature and apply our skills to the appreciation of the greatest Cathedrals ever built, the woods, the grasses, the sky. Using drawing, painting, photography and ourselves we shall explore how to worship nature with our Creativity, also taking into account our impact on the environment.