Thanks to generous support from the Arts & Science Council's Regional Artist Project Grant http://www.artsandscience.org/, I recently attended a wonderful workshop - CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITS IN ACRYLICS, at the John C. Campbell Folk School in the lovely mountains of western NC. The workshop was taught by my dear friend and mentor, artist Louise Farley. One assignment was to do a self-portrait while looking at a mirror (NOT on the support) while also NOT lifting your drawing implement from the paper! This is called automatic painting, and it can achieve interesting results, as evidenced by the attached image...acrylic and water soluble oil pastels on yupo paper, 19x25.
In addition to exploring creative techniques I wouldn't likely think of on my own, I got to experience something unfamiliar...Appalachian folk arts. I must admit feeling an initial reticence about being the only African-American on campus that week. However, I quickly realized that I was being received warmly by both fellow artists/crafters and staff. Our days were filled with studio time, 3 healthy meals and evening activities (I actually ENJOYED square dancing accompanied by a live mountain string band! Who knew?) The message: We are all, indeed, God's children. My expansion was satisfying on both creative and spiritual levels, and I plan on returning at my earliest opportunity. Thank You, Arts & Science Council!