Back in September, I had the great pleasure of leading a lively group of Creatives in my very first telephone Playshop. Today’s post is dedicated to showing off what the Playshop participants created — a Post-Playshop Art Show!
First, a little background.
The Playshop itself was a very special teleseminar, a 90-minute group phone call (more on that in a sec), but a couple of weeks before the call the Playshoppers were given access to 6 video tutorials, about an hour in total, demonstrating all the steps I go through to create my ArtSpark artworks.
The video tutorials covered:
- my favorite (not so-well-known) materials, and why I like them
- how to stretch watercolor paper (so it dries flat, and won’t “buckle” when you get it wet)
- my no-stress, fun process for adding color and marks to my paper
- my process for tearing down a full sheet of paper to transform it into several complete little ArtSpark artworks
- my process for adding words to my artwork
- tips for handling “mistakes”
Altogether, the videos are like a full-scale demo from a class on using play and experimentation to create art for the joy of it. Just like being in a real-live class with me (granted, if I were 6″ tall and inside a glass box ;)) and totally fun!
Setting the Tone
As any Creative well knows, to let go and jump fully into the Creative Sandbox requires a feeling of safety. Pushing creative boundaries can be scary, so there’s got to be a base level of comfort and security from which to crawl out on your experimentation limb.
That’s why, on the actual Playshop call, I started off by forming a safety “bubble” for everyone. I led us in a short meditation, to ground and get fully present, and then we all dispersed to get our hands dirty, experiment, and play in the Creative Sandbox for a set amount of time.
About half-way through we reconvened for a check-in (and what fun to hear the enthusiasm and energy in the voices of those who shared!), then it was back to the Creative Sandbox for more play time.
We joined up for a final check-in at the end, to bring the experience to a close, and my spirits soared to hear the joy and aliveness in everyone’s voices. What a treat!
All Playshoppers were invited to submit pieces to share here on the blog, along with their takeaways from the experience. Four Playshoppers responded (the rest were shy) and today I’m delighted to share their works with you. So without any further ado, I bring you…
The Fall 2011 Playshop Art Show!
Amy created a plethora of little pieces during the Playshop, which she assembled into a 30″ x 22″ collage watercolor, gouache, sumi ink, pencil, and tape on paper.
Once the tape from stretching the paper peeled away, I loved the darker grey texture it left on the paper, so some of the sections are actually “painted” with tape adhesive. This was definitely a learning experience for me, both in reminding me that play doesn’t have to not suck, and that 1 piece can be 23 or reassembled into 1 — resist the urge to try to put it back together, though, because it’s a puzzle with missing pieces.
And as a bonus, Amy created another piece with the extra paint she had left over:
Stacey, an alum of my Creative Ignition Kit, used Walnut ink, sumi ink, FW acrylic ink, guoache, Speedball nibs, paintbrushes and foam brush to create the 4″ x 6″ piece above.
I’m always looking for new ways to make “backgrounds” for my lettering. This was a great exercise in just “playing”, with no expectations to fulfill. It was very freeing to spread my stuff out all over every surface I could find, and experiment with brush manipulation and unusual pen strokes. Next time, I’ll leave more white space, for future lettering. I also learned that I need to play more….I had FUN!
Seth, another Creative Ignition Kit alum, used watercolor for his many Playshop pieces (and in some instances also some black pen or white gel pen). He writes this of his Playshop experience:
It’s a technique I’d love to keep playing with. I feel like my sketchbooks are a very -safe- place for me to draw; these ask me to me a little more adventurous. The yellow ones (leopard and grow) were done during the original playshop, and the shark done a day or two afterward. The pink ones were done a bit later, during a time of some art-deadline stress. The painting in the background for those feels aggravated and tense, but I got some neat results with the drawings because I didn’t overthink that part the way I did with the earlier ones. It’s so hard to turn my brain off, but that’s what seems to give me the best results with these!
Here are some more of Seth’s Playshop pieces:
You’re doin’ swell
Dena McKitrick – Artist Joyful
Dena, a Creative Ignition Kit alum and Creative Ignition Club member, also came out of the Playshop with a slew of little pieces (including the piece at the top of this post). What struck me most about Dena’s Playshop work is what a departure in style it is from the amazing paintings over on her site, Artist Joyful (which you really must see!)
My takeaway is I am inspired by this practice to re-kindle my sense of play. One of my favorite quotes that freed me from perfectionism is “Anything worth doing is worth doing mediocre.” Who is that report card keeper that insists I get straight A’s or I am an absolute failure anyway? Thank you, Melissa for the playtime. I do believe my Serenity cards will be featuring a whole new line of images in the not very far distant future.
Love it! Re-kindling a sense of play is what the Playshop was all about. I hope Dena shares any new art that arises from her Playshop experience (hint, hint, Dena, if you’re reading). (Her Serenity cards are pretty cool, btw. Check ’em out!)
Huge thanks to all the Playshoppers shown here, for sharing your art! It was a delight having you in the Playshop!
Wishing you’d gotten to play with us? Well, guess what — you can!
To join in the original Playshop, check out my Playshop-In-A-Box, which includes all the content from the original Playshop, including an mp3 of the 90-minute call. Click here and you can get a little bubble-bath for the spirit anytime you need it.
Did you know I also offer LIVE Playshops every month inside my Creative Ignition Club? Plus every membership of 3 months or more includes the original Playshop-In-A-Box for free! The Creative Ignition Club is where big-hearted Creatives come to get fired up — come join us!
And be sure to sign up on my mailing list at the upper right of this site to get advance notice when I offer any new programs.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!