Nothing pleases me more than to have the creative fire ignited within one of my students. During my recent studio workshop, Taos potter Ginto Naujokas, rediscovered the thrill of the creative process using paint. Here is some of what he wrote:
"What an inspiration you are....I have turned the kitchen into a painting studio. Lots of blank canvas to cover with techniques shown to me by the Smokin HOT Golden Girl. I am so glad I took your workshop. ...you are an amazing artist, teacher and a very fun person to be around...till next time, Ginto
Since he was here last month, he has been painting like a mad man. I have seen many of the exciting new works and couldn't be more impressed. I am deeply moved when my years of education, of teaching, and of hard work in the studio, play a role in expanding the gifts of someone else. Not all my students transform their kitchens into painting studios...thank you Ginto....you make me look good! joanfullertonworkshops.com
"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you wil be happy to live with all your life." Golda Meir
In the 70's I came across a book of Henry Miller's paintings titled: Paint as You Like and Die Happy, Henry, the famous author, was a self-taught artist who delighted in whatever his intuitive, colorful, brushstrokes produced. He was prolific and articulate about his art; his words inspire me to paint from the heart and to live happy. Join me this month in my studio and together we will! Sign up here.
When teaching workshops, I am fully alive, engaged, and in the flow. Therefore, I have decided to do MORE workshop instructing. Joan Fullerton Workshops, is a brand new website where you can come for inspiration, a class, or to discover me as an instructor for your workshop venue.
2013 was a successful and exciting year. I taught several workshops, did demos for art groups and hosted "Canvas and Cocktail" events, while preparing for my Taos Exhibition. Creating the New Paintings Exhibition with my buddy Dawn Chandler, served to strengthened my artistic voice and gave me new insights into the process of creating a body of work. Those months of intense art production, followed by a week's training as a Golden Paints Artist Educator, undoubtedly has increased the value of my teaching. It's not enough to study, paint, and teach for my own growth, I want those ideas, techniques, and more wisdom to offer you crazy, fun, and brilliant, students!
The "ego" makes art like we expect to see. But if we trust our hunches and intuitions, our art can move beyond predictable. Giving yourself permission to take risks and rebel against the ordinary, is ultimate creative freedom and is the path for finding your own voice. Painting from the heart, the space of receptivity and non-judgement, allows us to recognize unique expressive qualities when they emerge. Step away from your work and "notice what you notice". Listen to the art!
Play and whimsy are effective tools for creativity (also essential tools for living). Did you know humor is a right-brain quality? Larry Bell said in a radio interview, "Relax your vision and daydream within the painting." Makes perfect sense to me!
A university professor was known for walking into a room of painters saying "keep it rich", then retreating into his studio and his own work. Edgar Whitney the famous watercolor teacher told me he could walk into a room of students and say, "make the darks darker", and he knew it was what they all needed to hear. Teaching an abstract composition workshop last week, I realized my mantra could be "stop thinking and just paint"! Getting out of your head...how refreshing!
Preparing to teach my abstract workshop next week, has me contemplating all the many ideas and techniques I want to share with students. Metal leafing applied either as an accent or as a background, is one of my faves. Sometimes I use adhesive spray randomly and gently lay in sheets of leafing, while other times I paint adhesive in a more deliberate, designed way. In this painting a very large amount of leafing was applied underneath gel medium and thin glazes of transparent and translucent color. This abstract composition changes based on the quality and direction of the light reflecting on the metallic surface. I thrive on change!
My paintings are dramas...the shapes on the canvas are the performers. Most of the time I work intuitively and do not know what will show up on the stage.
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." Albert Einstein
This quote of Einstein's has mostly been true. I believe this is changing. Are you are interested in the ideas of left brain/right brain, rational mind/intuitive mind? If so, read the book, My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor, or watch this Ted Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html
This mixed media collage was recently accepted into the 22nd annual International Juried Exhibition of Experimental Artists (ISEA) at the Big Arts Center in Sanibel Island, FL. This exhibition will be on display from October 18th until November 27th, 2013. www.iseaartexhibit.org
Designing dynamic compositions happens by creating contrasts. Visual intrigue is more probable when you balance contrasting qualities, like contrasting areas of many shapes, with areas of few; colorful areas with areas of neutrals; and opaque areas with those that are translucent or transparent. I get a kick out of using yellowed pages from an old copy of War and Peace I picked up from a "free box" on a street in Taos, NM. There isn't more of a contrast than that of WAR and PEACE!
When I paint more naturalistic art, I pretty much know where I will end up. With my mixed media collages I must rely on a quiet mind and a lot of trust; I do not know where I will end up. My process is one of cultivating a rapport with the emerging forms, as though there is some special frequency desiring to be born and I am the tool being used.
In this recent painting, one might see transparent human shapes comprised of horizontal branches, falling stars, and simple flowers growing within a quiet landscape, a landscape balanced by both bright light and dark night. There are many possible metaphors, but the only important story is the one you the viewer finds relevant. When viewing art, it doesn't matter as much what the artist had in mind, more importantly, what does the painting say to you?
As I travel the country teaching workshops, I find that students not only want to learn skills and techniques, but they want to uncover their stories and develop their own perspective.
This is one of 14 mixed media collages I worked on this month while at Kanuga Watermedia Workshops in Hendersonville, NC. After doing a presentation for attending students and instructors Monday night, I had 3 days to just paint. I was provided with a large studio in the grove across from my new friends, "the girls", aka Allison and Elizabeth, and near the classroom of the fabulous art instructor Mike Bailey, from where the laughter (real and faked), punctuated the silence. Given the generous work area, I lined up blank canvases and drew simple space divisions with vine charcoal. With vigor, my acrylic-loaded brush splashed color chords into designated areas. After painting 4 or 5 canvases simultaneously, I put them in the sun to dry while working on the next group. Once during this rotation, my canvas count was off and I suspected "the girls" may have kidnapped one. (I thought there might be retaliation for my "borrowing" something from the raffle bucket.) But my suspicious nature was mistaken...I had merely messed up counting to 10. Anyway....after the painted backgrounds dried, I glued papers, transfers, stamped patterns, and drizzled Venetian Plaster over the color. And now I am back in Colorado and will soon be back at my Taos studio ready for the slower process of resolving these many beginnings into completed statements. As I contemplate the textures and shapes created, like analyzing a dream, I will discover a theme or a flavor to enhance. Often times the placement of my favorite symbols, trees, birds, houses or a human face or figure, will suggest a metaphor or a context of meaning. Juxtaposing abstract and more literal images entertains me, I think it offers mystery, (the literal symbols seem to connect me and pull me "into" the composition). Sooooo will this featured abstract composition be resolved after days of trial and error? Or will a few well-placed, significant shapes quickly find their places? Stay tuned here for the rest of the story. What will happen? I'll let you know.
Meanwhile....aside from the art-making, I have been learning and implementing more social media. I have a fan page on FaceBook....look for Joan Fullerton Art, and click on the "like" button to get in the loop. I am also planning to do some summer workshops. What a wonderful antidote to the solitude of the studio! I intend to lead students toward better composition, reveal new techniques and materials, and help them find their way to personal "content" in their art. It is so great to be around creative souls who like to "play". July 11th to the 16th I am teaching for Taos Art Experiences. And I will soon post workshop dates for my small (only have room for 6 students) in-my-studio-workshops. Life is supposed to be fun! Join me.
Images of trees have captivated me for many years. Trees remind us that when reaching toward the heavens, we have an advantage if we are strongly grounded. Realizing that my life improves and that I can achieve much more, when embracing the aliveness of being in a human body, I connect my awareness to the Earth. It is about having our physical awareness with Mother Earth, as we send our dreams toward Father Sky.
This collage began with thin acrylic washes on tin foil...a technique creating luminescence. Upon this background I added transfers and oil glazes. It pleases me to see the layers of process peeking through and I am enjoying the textures and subtle hits of color. Recycling workshop demos around the studio helps me clean up my space!
I am contemplating doing a small daily painting like my good friend Dawn Chandler does. (www.TaosDawn.com) This endeavor might help me with my tendency toward procrastination. My procrastination originates from a perfectionistic nature....so I am thinking a discipline of "small scale" production would keep my brush active. Being a rebel...as soon as I consider a "rule" about small, daily paintings; I want more than anything to do a large scale, long-term painting!!!
What shall I focus on? Landscape, abstracts, botanicals, collage? See my website: www.JoanFullerton.com and offer me your opinions.
Welcome everyone! There will be some fun happening here. Hot tips for art-making, opportunities to laugh at me, musings about the mystery of life, and information about scheduled events.