I have a show going on until mid-January at the wonderful gallery/community kid art space, Gather, in Evanston, Illinois. It is a show of work I would call spontaneous, in that it is based on the idea of a painting-a-day, and so I spent most of October making paintings, one each sitting. I didn’t spend more than 4 hours on any of them, both to keep the spontaneity and not overthink them — and as you might guess, to varying degrees of success. It was a really fun process, though, and something new.
I also taught a workshop at Gather on Sunday afternoon, in which we focused on spontaneous creating with mixed media. We used colored pencils, graphite, markers, oil pastels, acrylics, and gesso to make personal collage pieces on paper bags and some good Bee paper, then we each created a 12″x 12″ canvas piece.
I based the content of the workshop on a wonderful book I found recently called Other-Wordly: Words Both Strange and Lovely From Around the World, by Lee-Lum Mak, which is full of words that describe situations or feelings that we don’t have names for in English. For example, gokotta is a Swedish word that literally translates to “dawn picnic to hear the first birdsong”; the act of rising early in the morning to watch the birds, or to go outside to appreciate nature. Or derive, French for “drift”; a spontaneous journey where the traveler leaves ordinary life behind for a time to let the spirit of the landscape and architecture determine the path.
Here are some fun snaps of the workshop: