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Without a Net

Daring Starts From Within

Category / Student Work

Curiouser and Curiouser

For those who think my grammar has gone sour, the post title here is a quote by the Cheshire Cat character in the book, “Alice in Wonderland.” (The topic in this week’s Without a Net creativity class was Curiosity.) The pheasant above seems to be gazing into a looking glass, so we seem to be […]

First Class

 

Thy Self Thy Foe

This past Friday I held my first Creativity Class at Red Dot Gallery. It was well-attended by a fun and insightful group, inspiring me to share some of the things we covered and what I took from our interactions.

Highlights of this week’s class

We used the Without a Net Deck to practice analyzing images and sharing our personal take on particular cards. As usual, I was surprised and delighted by the various readings, all different than I’d intended when painting the images. One purpose of the exercise was to observe the change in our mindsets as our focus shifted from out-in-the-world mode to introspective. Analyzing a work of art is an excellent way to make that shift quickly.

I mentioned that Yale medical students are required to go to the local art museums to improve their observational skills by looking at paintings. I’ll be posting about that wonderful subject later. The practice of “reading” a painting will be a regular part of my creativity class, as it helps the viewer develop intuitive skills and stretch their imagination, and generally builds skills at looking closer instead of jumping to immediate conclusions about what is seen. As Yale Medicine Magazine puts it, their art workshops for med students are “valuable in developing essential skills that doctors need, like critical thinking and observational and communication skills, as well as bias awareness and empathy.”

The various readings of the Without a Net cards were touching and informative. It seemed that everyone saw their own tendencies in the images, each revealing the kind of hopes, fears, and questions that open one up to more insight and guidance. I know for myself that when I admit or share something of this nature, I tend to see new realizations in the days after. I related to the readings of each person in the room: about insecurities, mysteries, triumphs, bad habits, and daily life struggles.

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Have Yourself a…

My gallery, studio, and teaching space hosts an annual holiday exhibit, which enables us to show small work at affordable prices, and have a Christmas party without trashing our house. Our new Cup Wall will exhibit small ceramic work by my husband (ceramic artist and Red Dot co-owner Scott Bennett) Red Dot students, and local and […]

Bragging on My Students

Here’s a sampling of some of recent paintings by my students at Red Dot Gallery. I am proud of their dedication to their craft and grateful for the inspiration and joy they bring to my life. I’d no idea how rewarding teaching art could be. I’ll write more about that later, but for now, please […]

The Results Are In

Yesterday’s post about Red Dot’s white-on-white drawing day showed images of what the object set-ups looked like. Here is a slideshow of the resulting drawings, all done by 9 and 10 year olds. They were instructed to find a range of values from white to black. There were no takers on the more complicated objects, […]

White Shadows

I teach a one hour kid’s art class every week, and we often sketch the still life. I set up small groups of objects at tables around the room, and the kids are instructed to move around and draw as many as they can. The white still life is great practice for contrast without the […]