Saturday, September 6, 2014

From the time

Mini Artist Residency
University of Illinois
an art teacher's journey into art making

This summer, I found a wonderful opportunity to go back to my roots, as an artist and art teacher....back to making art.  For a week, I immersed into materials, processes, techniques and reflection, all the while letting my self "play".  
I experienced a sense of fear at first.  The last time I had my own studio, my own time and my own space was, nearly, 11 years ago in the precious city of Venice, Italy.  For graduate school I worked, lived and breathed the encompassing notion of art. 
I made it.
I read it.
I explored it. 
I discussed it.
I ate it.
I drank it.
I fell in love with it  (and the people who became part of my life--love you.)

In the past 10 years, although my ideas were/are endless, they never transpired into something tangible....something real....something.  Art education became my life.  Not in the sense of living and breathing and becoming a hermit crab to the world, thinking only about my students, BUT teaching opened the door to other amazing opportunities, steering my focus away from making art.  Until this opportunity came around.
And thank goodness...I was beginning to develop a twitch.         

So, what happened?

Well, for one week I sat for 10 hours in a studio and started painting, started drawing, started writing,  and started making incredible connections with some incredible people.  There were about 24 of us (?) who wanted nothing more than have uninterrupted time studio time. As a group, it seemed like we woke up together, we ate together, we created together and grew together.  Something magical happens when time and space are not a factor..

My week started off...small.  I have always seemed to float back to circles, ovals, orbs, spheres, playing with their shapes, and given them a sense of identity- Playful but somehow permanent.

I was, in reflection, focused on change and my ability to alter shapes, ideas, thoughts, motion and impression.

Throughout the week, I changed, altered and transformed my studio into different spaces, constantly moving from one idea to another...
But somehow they connected.

Floating shapes, colors and impressions connected one painting to another and one idea to another, linking my process throughout the week.

From small oval eye-ish shapes, I veered towards larger than life figure drawings of women, inspired by works of master artists.  If you look closely you may notice the pose of a Rembrandt, Matisse and Picasso.

By mid week, color and large surrounds changed to something more intimate and clean.  Sometimes, I feel to find inspiration and stay in the sweet spot of making art, you need to strip away everything and just work with simple, raw and organic processes.  
I felt good.

I, also, felt good to fall back into my comfort zone.  About ten years ago, as I was playing around with copper wire and gloss medium , I discovered something magical (well, at least to me).
A change.
 A transformation.

In an exciting farewell, our weeks work was displayed in a pop up art exhibit in a gallery.

My my new friends and colleagues....see you next year!

xoxo, SMocK you.
PS.  For more information: