"Homage to Teresa on the Subway (Skewing Rothko)" - acrylic on aluminum. Reserved for a collector.
Three days of fearless abstraction have come and gone. I have a huge well of sadness whenever a class ends - as the tablecloths are folded, the paint brushes washed and the cars loaded and driven away. A magical safe space for creating magic popped up, sparkled and then disappeared. This particular workshop was beyond spectacular, and I am still gobsmacked at the great art created within it. Wow.
One of the days was focused on abstracted figures. Of course there was cringing, whining and gnashing of teeth as soon as "figures" were mentioned. And then aluminum panels. And then no paint brushes allowed...just paper towels, foam brushes and chopsticks. And there had to be emotion. And 50 shades of the color gray. I thought heads would explode! (Note: no humans were harmed during the workshop!)
I think every participant was utterly exhausted by the end of the day. But each one (and I mean EVERY ONE) of them created something emotive, powerful and breathtaking. Hearts were left in the paint. Happy hearts, sad hearts, wistful hearts, strong hearts. And fear of abstracted figures was left in the dust, helpless. No fear there!
One thing was clear by the end of figurative abstract day - if you throw enough challenges at the creative spirit, it will rise up, get out of the critical mind and just create without limits. Sometimes we can silence the inner critic by launching volleys of new things at it. You might need pajamas, a dark room and a bottle of wine afterward, but by golly you will have created something magical. Now where are my slippers?