So far, this spring has turned out to be very busy!
Saturday morning April 17th dawned cloudy but fortunately, while we were protected from the sun by cloud cover, there was no rain. We’ve been blessed–very rarely has it rained on one of my Day-Long Mixed Media Workshops. The workshop participants carried their art supplies along an orchid-bedecked path to my studio–a converted garage in the garden at the back of my home. Then, with the scent of Confederate Jasmine in the air, they joined me on my back deck for introductions over tea and coffee. After sharing our goals for the day we watched a video on Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending pottery using lacquer and gold powder. I reminded everyone that the theme of the workshop was self-healing and they were viewing the video as a metaphor for healing, not to learn how to mend broken ceramics!
We then moved from the back deck to my studio and started on our warmup exercise. I like to use blind contour drawing for warmups as it levels the playing field so that the people who feel insecure about their drawing skills won’t feel intimidated by those with more drawing experience. Once their contour drawings were completed, I had the participants go over the lines with the equivalent of the gold dust used in Kintsugi. Most of the participants used colored pencils. Then, they filled in the shapes on their drawings with colors in the medium of their choice. Now the serious work began! Most of the participants chose to cut out their contour drawings and collage them onto the canvas or paper on which they planned to create their masterpiece. If you look carefully at the images below. you’ll see the contour drawings integrated into the final work.
We took a break for lunch on the deck, chatting under umbrellas to protect us from the sun that was playing hide and seek with the clouds. Then we returned to the air-conditioned studio where I demonstrated how to stain hand-made paper with black tea as part of an art project I was working on. Then the participants completed their paintings with a variety of media including collage, acrylics, watercolor, and found objects. Some were able to complete more than one painting which they shared during our final friendly critique on the deck. Before packing up, the five women and one man filled out evaluations. One comment, about the workshop in general, was, “a great workshop and thoughtful theme.” I was happy to see that I got a high grade as a facilitator–one participant wrote “as always, full of ideas and inspiration, guidance and always improving the work.” I enjoyed reading what participants’ thought were their significant breakthroughs. One wrote, “not getting discouraged when something seems ‘wrong’ —you never know what might result!” Another, “I liked the liberating feeling of improvising and working in the moment” and someone else wrote that “the day flew by.”
My next day-long mixed media workshop will be held in the Fall.
On the Saturday evening before the workshop, I read a couple of poems from our book A Leaf in the Wind: Poems by Jaro Majer, Artwork by Rose Marie Prins at The Factory in St. Pete’s Warehouse District. The event was organized by Keep St. Pete Lit in celebration of National Poetry Month. We were rained out and ended up inside Carla Bristol’s Gallerie 909. It was impossible to record the reading because The Factory was crowded with St.Petersburg’s Second Saturday ArtWalk revelers and was rather noisy. Here is an earlier recording of me reading a selection of Jaro’s poems accompanied by the melodious guitar music of Bruce Hewitt. It’s a treat, whenever I’m at The Factory, to see the expert oil and acrylic paintings by my former painting student, Tricia Tierney Moses, who now has a studio there.
Also in the Warehouse District at the ArtsXchange during March, I exhibited a mixed media work in a juried exhibition entitled More than a Woman. I was delighted to be exhibiting with several of my Women’s Caucus for Art, Florida, colleagues, including Suzanne Benton and Neverne Covington.
Both Suzanne and Neverne had participated in a live zoom event that I organized for the WCA the evening before. They, as well as WCA members Sue Johnson and Rebecca Skelton, were interviewed by Kuniko Yamamoto of Origami Air Art Studio in Sarasota about their portraits in the traveling exhibition, Woman Who Work. The recording of that lively and informative discussion can be viewed at WCA Florida as can the dates and locations of upcoming exhibitions of Women Who Work .
My Morean Arts Center Beginning/Intermediate Painting Course on Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings is back in full swing. Some of us, both my students and I, will have work in the upcoming exhibition at the Morean— Orange opens on June 4th and is up through the 30th.
Early in April, I joined a friend for lunch and a stroll in St.Pete’s Edge District on Central Avenue. My friend was eager to show me some of the new stores. Sans Market, and Lida’s Jungle share a space at 1037 Central Avenue. Sans Market has a wonderful array of environmentally friendly products and Lida’s Jungle has some of the most luxuriant plants I’ve seen anywhere. After seeing our book A Leaf in the Wind: Poems by Jaro Majer, Artwork by Rose Marie Prins Sarah and Daniel, the owners, were eager to display digital prints of the leaf images in the book in their store. A selection of prints is available there as well as in the Morean Arts Center’s gift shop where you can also purchase the book. Both our book and the digital prints can be purchased on my website.
I look forward to seeing many friends whom I’ve not seen during this past year of isolation at the opening of Orange at the Morean Arts Center on the evening of June 4th.