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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

[ from a. addair who is listening to Beck (Odelay) ]

When I put an art workshop on the calendar I feel anxious.  I’m pretty sure it stems from a lack of confidence or validation.  As I’m inviting people via Facebook I’m thinking, “This is shameful.  Why should I be teaching anyone about painting?”.

It is from this place that write.  First, I am self-taught.  I feel the need to make that explicit.  Second, I don’t intend to “teach” anyone anything…as “teaching”, in our culture, has come to mean something bureaucratic and one-sided.  Rather, I want to invite you to come over and play with me.  If you are new to painting, I will share some approaches to entering into the art-making process.  If you have more experience, then the workshops are meant to be an opportunity for painting outside of your own art-making patterns and routines.  No accreditation, but valuable for those interested.

because a real professional would not post this picture of herself

And to be a bit more concrete, I’ll share an outline of a previous workshop, “Making Art from Knoxville”, which focused on allowing a sense of place to enter the painting process.

Objective:  To allow and encourage participants to find their immediate vision and personal language of contemporary experiences rooted in place.


1.  ask questions in order to enter into the objective(participants free write):

Where do my interests lie today?

How are these interests influenced by my surroundings?  by people? nature? buildings I live in?  work in?

What remembered images most interest me?

What sorts of images am I most exposed to?  on TV? in books and magazines? on the computer? advertisements?  within my environment?

What questions am I pondering?

(There are more, but you get the idea)

2. participants look through books of images, taking note of the things they connect with

3.  free write: How do the selected images connect with my interests and daily experience of living?

4. prompt: form a question from the last free write (something you find troubling, interesting, energized by, etc)

5.  prompt: allow this question to remain open as you paint about and within this question.  Admit doubts and explore explanations.  Use the imagery that resonated with you as starting points for visually processing the question.  (At this point I ask participants, and myself, to be present and aware with the act of painting and to trust the initial intellectual work by turning off their censors and operating out of instinct.

That is an abbreviated version and, of course, things went delightfully non-linear as I had an eager and engaged student.

I write this to ease my anxiety over being assumed an expert and also to give you more knowledge about what to expect if you are thinking of joining me for the upcoming workshop on October 5 : Making Art from Science.

Oct 5 art workshop flyer (click here to learn more)


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