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“Creative Alchemy and Mindful Art Practices” 2019 – A series of articles by Roseline de Thelin, Multi Media Artist, Creativity Coach & Mentor, Expressive Arts Teacher & Art Therapist.

I have just been facilitating again this month my workshop JUST PAINT. There is so much joy and pleasure in expressive painting, so much possible exploration and discovery. I found it one of the most direct and simple artistic practices to become mindful of  my inner creator. When I invite my observer in the experience I get a great mirror of my inner landscape, my patterns, habits, impulses, and thoughts.

Now could there be anything more daunting and exciting than contemplating your blank canvas when you are about to start painting?

This is a very precious moment to savor. I like taking the time to contemplate the white empty space, to feel my anticipation in front of all the possibilities about to unfold, the mix of fears, excitements, and expectations …

How long can I stay in this dazzling space of “not knowing”, this fertile void where all is still possible? What is calling, what is the attractor? Can I be present to the inner movement of energy that will initiate my first move? There is always a moment between the impulse and the action that embodies possibility. When hanging out for a while in this place of “not knowing” I give myself a chance to start out fresh, to break through my usual patterns and re-invent my way to create.

On the first evening of the Just Paint workshop I invite participants to clarify their needs and intentions before preparing their canvas. We first apply a coat of white glue on the back of the canvas to reinforce it. Then mixing gesso and plaster we create a monochrome layer that textures the canvas. This is the first “aesthetic choice” and also an opportunity to start experiencing with tools and textures.

“The more subtly we are tuned to our medium, the more inventive our actions will become”
Anni Albers in “Material as Metaphor”

Exploring tools and textures in painting is a training ground for invention and free speculation. The shyest beginner can catch a glimpse of the exhilaration of creating while experiencing the simplicity and inherent nature of material and medium.

We can find such adventure and discovery in the simple use of water, its relationship to textures, its interaction with surface, how it makes paint stick or drip. Textures and tools also awaken inner feelings and emotions. Working with a spatula allows you to feel your own strength against the resistance of the surface; a large brush invites you to experience dynamic movement, while a sponge softly caresses the canvas like a skin.

More to come soon …

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Click below to know more about my JUST PAINT workshop and apply for the autumn program.


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