This week since I have returned from Art and Soul in Portland I have been savouring things. Colors are brighter and the air is rich with crisp autumn scents. Perhaps it is just my love of this time of year in the NW, but I'd like to think it is still the residual way of seeing the world after taking a workshop with Katie Kendrick.
Katie Kendrick, if you do not know, is an intuitive painter. I signed up for her class after seeing her work thinking that I would learn a bit about encaustic techniques, since her pieces are usually coated in a top layer of wax. Though I did learn how to cover a piece with a layer of wax to protect it and give it a dreamy quality, the class ended up being so much more than that. In fact, the time we spent on the wax was less than an hour of the whole day!
Katie began her class by getting us to all do creative warm up exercises - which at first seemed funny but then they actually worked. Just simply by taking a crayon and some tissue paper to play with rubbing patterns and textures was enough to loosen the brain up into "oh good - it's play time now!" Which if you are going to do some intuitive painting that is right where you want your head space to be. She then had us working pretty fast - bouncing between 2 canvases at the same time smearing paint, pressing on collage and smearing more paint until "something appeared".
This is completely opposite of how I usually work. I pretty much always start a piece with a full blown idea of exactly how I want it to look. I sketch out the design in pencil direct on the canvas and then paint it. And that is just fine and I'm sure I'll continue working that way. For some pieces...
Katie's way was just so much more of an instant release! So from now on I think I'm going to start working both ways - just to see what comes of it. No plan, no expectations. Just me and my inner artist smearing some paint around.
Here is my 2nd piece which I actually finished in time to give it the wax coating: