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October 12, 2006

artist's way: week 5

by gl. at 4:27 pm

we're done w/ media deprivation! hooray! i had 1243 rss feeds waiting for me upon my return & i'm still crawling through them. one of the participants said, "when i don't read, i buy stuff."

the art activity this session was blind contour drawing. first i asked them to use the technique to draw the bah hum bug, a stuffed version from edward gorey's last book, the haunted tea cosy. i like using the bah hum bug because nobody's ever seen it before, so nobody has a pre-conceived notion of what one should look like, which makes you observe it more closely and derails the shortcut instinct between your eye and your brain.

i spend the exercise talking about slowing down and taking their time, but even so they finished the first round so fast i asked them to do another drawing of the bah hum bug. :) then i handed out mirrors and asked them to do self-portraits in the same style. after that i posted large newsprint sheets on the walls and had them draw each other.

then i asked them to write about the process of seeing, then to highlight the word that most appealed to them in their writing. we ended up with the words curve, profundity, burning, soul & magnificence, and i asked each person to create a sentence using all those words (or their roots). mine was "the profound curve of a burning soul is magnificent."

center (integrity): i tend to use a mirror as a center base when i do the blind contour drawing exercise. i must have been influenced by the lovecraft film festival, because i was irresitably drawn to the small bottles of cryptic fillings. i'm especially amused by the bottle of invisble ink.

music: the piano soundtrack, which the cd player only choked on twice.

one of my independent support clients had a funny story about self-encouragment and the perception of quality. as a graphic designer, co-workers would show each other designs and respond to each other, "dude, that's great!" but she would often dislike the designs, so she spent some time working through how other people might think they were great. finally recognizing that everyone values something different, eventually that led her to tell herself, whenever she made something, "that's great!" -- even if she didn't immediately think so, because someone probably would think so. she reinforced that habit so well that once, while she was at the gym, she caught herself in the mirror and automatically thought, "that's great!"

posted by gl. | October 12, 2006 4:27 PM | categories: artist's way