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September 26, 2007

artist's way: session 1

by gl. at 12:28 pm

it has begun! the tuesday morning clusters had a large response and it looks like a good strong group. every creative cluster is different, and in this one most of the participants are mothers. since that's not something i have any experience with, i'm looking forward to the ways they can uniquely support and encourage each other.

during the usually initially awkward "waiting for everyone to show up" period, i asked them to write down their preconceptions and fears about the creative cluster, then put them in a bowl and left them outside on the porch. it's an idea i got from vicki, who wanted artists in don't think! paint! to "park their prior knowledge of art techniques at the door."

the art activity for the first session is always a 20-minute intuitive collage. it's a deliberately short timeframe to thwart the demons of perfectionism and self-criticism. it might be more appropriate to call it an "exuberant collage" rather than an "intuitive collage" because it more accurately conveys the sense of energy and enthusiasm i see when people are engaged in this activity. afterwards we discussed my favorite form of feedback, which involves three different ways to respond to artwork without being critical about it: descriptive, emotional, and artistic. it's totally deserving of its own post.

we started a bit late so we ended a bit late, and two people really had to leave right on time, so i can see i need to be even more time conscious than usual about begin/end times. i'm usually a good timekeeper at events, so it's not a stretch, but it does mean i have to be really careful about the amount of time each person gets to speak and hold them to it, while not making them feel rushed. that's most difficult in the comments round, in part because i want to make sure people get a chance to speak even if they aren't the type to leap in immediately.

center (intro): an ostrich egg dan gave me, spilling stars onto a scarlet star cloth.

music: the amelie soundrack, which is especially suited for the 20-minute collage, but sets the tone for the whole cluster quite nicely. for this term, instead of waiting for that annoying little red cd player to randomly fail, i picked up some jbl on stage speakers to use with my ipod. i'm already happier. bonus: it comes with a remote, which means i don't have to leap up to adjust the volume between parts of the session.

posted by gl. | September 26, 2007 12:28 PM | categories: artist's way