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October 28, 2007

artist's way: session 5

by gl. at 11:13 pm

things are starting to get harder for the group: this was the first week where some of them said they didn't want to show up. but they DID! showing up is a huge part of the equation, and once they were here, they were heard, and they could get to making art, they relaxed. you could see the weight release from them as they focused on blind contour drawing, the art activity of the day. they breathed easier, they smiled, and their checkins at the end of the session were much calmer than they were at the beginning.

it takes courage to be the first person to admit to the group that you're having a bad week. the weeks have flown by and they've been busy bonding, but it's not unexpected to see what julia calls "creative u-turns," where the rest of their lives have not gone as smoothly as the artist's way and are beginning to interrupt and disrupt their progress. all i ask is that they keep showing up. awareness leads to progress.

blind contour drawings start by drawing an object (in this case, two objects because the group is so large: edward gorey's bah humbug & a stuffed bat michaelmas gave me). then they're ready to do self-portraits holding mirrors. then i ask them to draw each other, which means i drag out the large insulation panels to give us more "wall" where the windows are. it's always amazing to me how much insight blind contours drawings give you: when an artist's hands, heart & head are all working in harmony, you really get a chance to see what the artist sees. and when you are drawing each other, it is odd and intense for someone to look at you for an extended period of time. many of them used the word "intimate" when writing about it afterwards, but they also appreciated the opportunity to see and be seen.

center (integrity/possibility): we doubled up on chapters this week, a consequence of shortening the cluster. here we have four glass jars on a mirror, reflecting into infinity. each jar has some sort of unknowable thing in it: tiny glass beads, marbles, a red star, pens & brushes. a candle was set atop. you're seeing it here after i've just dropped something onto the center, splattering wax everywhere.

music: the piano, which worked out well last year as a dramatic "first thing you hear upon the end of media deprivation" album, but this time it just seemed fussy.

posted by gl. | October 28, 2007 11:13 PM | categories: artist's way