These three Paintings are part of a series exploring a new painting surface as well as new ways to use the layered painting process . They are on wrapped canvas instead of watercolor paper which alters the way of the interactions of surface and paint. It also nudged me to follow the process with exciting new curiosity and awe; keeping the excitement fresh.
These 3 images are part of an experimental tangent of the serendipitous following of random threads layered onto paper: layered onto underpainting or by creating a new and vibrant base for further exploration.
I decided to do what I ask others to do in my classes: to go the edge of their comfort zone and surrender to creative flow—moment by moment—again and again.
A friend of mine put together a creative challenge of “A Poem A Day For The Month Of May”. This is done through a group page on Facebook so we can all see each other’s poems and comment if we want—not critique. They provide a prompt, which we can follow or not. I was scared.
A couple of years ago, I received some negative criticism over some writing I had done that I had gotten pretty invested in. Because this came from someone I trusted and respected, I let it completely deflate my confidence in my abilities to express through the written word. This extended to writing these blogs, newsletters, emails and Facebook postings. The cold stone reminder in my gut that my flaws were exposed nagged at me incessantly.
This experience was a big reason for me do dig deeply into the Enneagram–To see the inner workings of myself clearly so that I could get out of that painful box–and to learn about my family and friends so that I never take things so personally again.
It has been a wonderful learning tool and I will finish teaching my first class on Sunday. It felt like a practice class, which it was and I learned so much from the willing participants. I used some visual art experiential techniques because I so believe that having an actual experience solidifies the learning. One student said, “I feels a lot like Shiva Sana at the end of a yoga work out.” Perfect—Integtration.
So I have been bringing my coffee to my chair every morning for three mornings and allowing whatever would come and written a poem a day for three days. These are not intended to be perfect; just honest expressions of the moment in time. The same as I ask of my students. No judgment from myself or anyone else. Twenty-eight poems left. Risk worth taking. I love it!
For the past few years, I have become increasingly interested in the study of the Enneagram as a path to positive change in integrating the personal and spiritual aspects of my life. In this past year my focus has been on Enneagram Studies in the Narrative Tradition, which incorporates learning about the Enneagram through people speaking from their own experiences of mind, heart and body. It is this direct experience that facilitates deep understanding and change.
As a facilitator of creative emergence over the last 40 years, my approach has always been that change takes place when we can get out of our own way and let that essential creative part of our being express itself. I have not only experienced the freedom and joy of this process for myself but in hundreds of my students. I believe that we cannot manifest change in our lives unless we ultimately take an action beyond thought and feeling in support of that change.
Next week, I will be getting my certification as a teacher of the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition.
The potential for personal growth in the marriage of “Art and the Enneagram” is an exhilarating prospect.
Watch for information about classes coming soon!
Create and embellish a life mask from your own face and allow it to communicate the innumerable messages secreted within. This process will require one session to create the mask structure and a second session to paint and embellish them.
Sunday, February, 17th, from 1-4 pm.
Sunday, February 24th, from 1-4 pm. $90 for both sessions. Most materials included.
Previously advertised Intuitive Painting is offered the first Sunday of each month .
It has come to me in recent months that working very hard to accomplish my goals really hasn’t worked so very well. Like a good Enneatype 8, I have been doggedly determined to be a major positive influence in the world. I’ve pushed for school reform, fought for the underdog and insisted that my students and friends dig deep to find what is truly authentic within and express it creatively. I’ve taught myself thousands of techniques so that I’d have an arsenal of possibilities to offer not only in my own creative processes but for those of my students. I have frequently threatened to explode from frustration and information overload while navigating the traumatically trying technological minefield.
Being a conscientious Enneagram student has enabled an awareness of the personality patterns and pitfalls within. I’ve been so busy taking a deep breath in order to force my way through life that I’ve forgotten to focus on the exhale. The spaces between the actions, when finally alert to them, offer a deep satisfaction in the now that has escaped me most of my life. This newfound awareness of others and myself has allowed a new acceptance and joy. In this exhale, my classes are thriving with wonderful people; my paintings are selling; I’m getting an even bigger kick out of my Grand daughter and I had a fabulous time creating 5 new collages this weekend.
It has been a time of exciting forward movement. Last Monday, I gave a demonstration of my painting and collage techniques to a large gathering of members of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists. My nerves calmed as soon as I began painting. The accompanying dialogue came easily as I shared the experience of being willing to adventure into new creative territory and follow threads of possibility, unattached to the outcome. After all, some of my best paintings are the result of things run amok a few times over. I’ve simply been willing to re-visit the situation with renewed curiosity. The audience began relaxing, laughing and asking questions. I invited them to come close and explore the many textures available in my pile of potential collage ingredients. They were eager to ask how particular patterns were created and to try their hand at assembling pieces into a collage. The atmosphere was alive, open and everyone was having fun. The images shown here are the result of what began that evening.
Someone asked when I could teach my specific techniques realizing that my current Intuitive Painting classes aren’t long enough for that particular process. You bet! Thank you! How about Saturday, September 22nd from 11 am to 4 pm? Cost is $90 including materials.
Another woman asked if I would teach a class in collage: They would bring paintings they felt weren’t successful and I would help to explore other perspectives and create new possibilities. What a fabulous Idea! Thank you! How about Saturday October 6th from 11 am to 4 pm? Cost is $90 including materials.
The new classes are added to the calendar on my website.
My commitment to the study of the Enneagram has deepened with the recent completion of two more classes. I have decided to continue the training and become certified to teach. The next step is to conduct 20 taped interviews and two panels of like types interviews to be evaluated by a mentor/coach. This is a powerful and dynamic personality system that describes nine distinct and fundamentally different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Discovering your Enneagram personality type can help you learn how to bring positive change into your life. It can help change the way you relate to yourself and others. It can give you powerful assistance in integrating the personal and spiritual aspects of your life. One of the things I love about this particular school of study is that it is done in the narrative tradition: Meaning that the participants learn by talking about their own experience of type and witnessing others as well.
I’m on the edge of a learning curve getting my equipment ready and preparing to do the interviews. It’s big stuff like “Will my camera actually take a 50 minute video?” and “How do I send the videos to my coach over the Internet or do I just figure out how to put them on a disc and snail mail them?” Many of the people I have asked these seemingly complicated questions of, smile and shake their heads, understanding that I have not moved smoothly into this age of technology.
Just as importantly, I am writing the script for the interviews so that the questions may actually elicit key information in figuring out an individual’s type. Of course, when the interview is over, only the interviewee can make the final determination concerning their type. I’ll just offer a couple of possibilities for them to explore.
Within a week, I should be ready to begin the interviews. I have talked to many of you about being a part of the interview process. There may be others of you who are curious to know their type. Whether we have talked previously or not please contact me to set up a time.
I’ll attend another intensive workshop next February and then be certified and ready to integrate it into the creative flow of my life.
Yesterday, I sat in a roomful of strangers at the wake of a man I have never met. As a friend of his daughter Renee, I had helped sort and pack his belongings after his death. We talked about the people and stories in the family photos. She told me about the birth and growth of this stunningly beautiful ranch from open field with a small pond to a lushly landscaped family compound with two magnificent homes, three ponds with babbling stream, a flock of geese, hives of bees, and outdoor sculpture. At every turn, both inside and outside of these homes, cleverness and vision abound. It was inspiring to see what creative minds with time and means to incubate an idea can manifest. It was an honor to be in his home hearing his family and friends share stories of his life.
When I returned home, I started playing around with techniques I want to use in my upcoming Intuitive Painting class. I found myself personally engaged with the sometimes-frustrating side of the creative process; the unknown. My gut tightened and my inner critic raised her horrible head. “This looks terrible. I don’t know what to do next. What if this doesn’t turn out well?”
From my years of experience with this place, I know to just keep going. It’s been when things ran amok that the magic was revealed. So I add another layer, I rub areas through to the underneath layer. I try applying paint with a roller, a sponge, a Popsicle stick. Each layer reveals a new perspective, a new sense of curiosity. Fear gives way to excitement and I remember why I love to teach. It’s about supporting students at all stages of the creative process and encouraging them to become familiar with the sides of themselves that crave contact with the unknown. It takes courage to live life as awake human beings. But if we approach it with curiosity about what is here now and then follow when our intuition speaks, I believe we will manifest our own vision of magnificence one creative endeavor at a time.
Aside from feeling like I need a few more hours of sleep to recover from all the excitement of the preparation and execution of the VAST experience, I conclude that it was a successful endeavor. Wonderful friends were here to help talk to people in the clay studio, yard, painting studio and living/gallery areas during busy times and to share in fun and interesting conversations between us when times were slow. One dear friend responded to all the questions about classes by getting the information into a flyer that I could hand out. You’ll see the schedule below. There was never a dull moment. Everyone is as fascinated as I am about the creative process and that alone provides enough juice for me to go on for a long time.
Eve's Painting Studio
Eve's Clay Studio
2012 Summer and Fall Classes at Eve Margo Withrow’s Studio
Experience and experiment with a variety of creative, supportive processes. Artists who want to create with renewed enthusiasm as well as inexperienced artists will be delighted. Each class will feature a stand-alone project.
Sundays, 1-4 pm: July 22, August 26, September 16 and 30, and October 14 and 28
Cost: any 4 of the series $120.00 or all 6 for $160. Materials fee: $10.
Registration and payment by July 15
Play with Clay
This is a class to designed to teach basic hand building techniques to the beginner and provide assistance to more experienced students.
Thursdays, 6:30-9:30 pm: September 6, 13, 20, 27, October 4 and 11
Materials included: basic pottery tool set and 25 lb of clay (clay and firing)
There are only five more days until the VISUAL ARTIST’S STUDIO TOUR. My attention has been all over the place: from planting new flowers on the deck to weeding the gardens and cleaning the clay studio. I have unpacked sculptures from the shed, plumbed fountains, made signs, wrangled cobwebs from the living room walls, hung paintings and made long lists of tasks yet to be accomplished. It’s fun to see it all come together. I’ll get there.
Chatting with people about the creative process is a favorite activity of mine. I do hope to see many of you next Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm. It will be a wonderful time!