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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Art & Soul

The "year of learning" continues as last week I was in Portland, Oregon attending the Art & Soul Retreat.  It was my first time attending one of these events.  Even though there are many workshops and instructors to choose from, I attended solely to take Jane Davies' workshops.  I took five of the six she was offering.  That was a lot for three days.

In all the workshops, we were working with paint, collage and drawing materials.  Nothing to do with fabric.  I wanted to take the workshops because I like Jane's style and was hoping to find ways of making art more quickly, as working with fabric and sewing is a slower process.

I liked that Jane emphasized that we were not going to make a finished piece of art (if it happened by accident then that was great).  We were there to explore, experiment and get out of our way by not evaluating whether what we were doing was good or bad.  I liked this attitude even though it was sometimes hard because I would slip into trying to make something "work."

The retreat was at a hotel near the airport.  I did not leave the hotel until after my last workshop. For two days, I took a workshop during the day from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (with a break for lunch) and an evening workshop from 6:30 - 9 p.m.  The third day I only had the day class.

Below is a picture of our classroom in the hotel.   The nice thing was since I was taking only Jane's classes and she was in the same room everyday, I could leave my stuff and not have to haul it back and forth to my room after each class.

All of Jane's classes were full (and there were a couple where somehow extra people were signed up).  There were ten tables with two people at each table and two tables for Jane to work at.


The tables were adequate, but it would have been nice to have a little more space to work on.  We had lots of supplies.  Here is a photo of most of my supplies before I got them all packed up.


We also created lots of painted papers during the workshops and we had to put most of them on the floor.  I don't why they didn't try to cover the carpet.  There were several times when people were cleaning paint off the carpet, myself included.  I posted on my Facebook page a tip on how to clean paint out of carpet and I will put that here in another post.

Here's my work space.  For this workshop, we were using gelli plates for printing.


This is a blurry picture of Jane drawing with her toes.  One of our exercises was to discover all the different ways we could create different line qualities with a drawing tool (i.e. pencil).  We were not required to draw with our feet (but you could if you wanted).


Here is an example of Jane's of different ways to use the gelli plate.
We worked with black and white for some exercises.  These are some of my experiments.  There is paint as well as different drawing media.

This is Jane's example of a technique she showed us with paint.  My attempt didn't turn out as well. I really like this, though, and should do some more practicing to get it.



At the end of the workshops, we would usually go out in the hall and look at everybody's pieces. These pieces came from an exercise using complementary colors.

I learned some new things and was reminded of some old things.  Right now I am trying to figure out if any of this will make it into my fabric work or not.  Or if I will continue with paint, etc. and try to make the techniques work with my own style.  I'm not sure yet.

In another post, I will show you some more of the things I made.

1 comment:

Sue Kaufman said...

Thanks for all the pictures, they add so much to your excellent descriptions. Interesting!