I have several students that I work with privately to help them develop their painting skills, prepare for shows, write artist statements, learn new techniques, etc. I even provide a form of art therapy as applied to the business end of a studio practice or if a student is a small business owner and needs to “crack the creative code” and approach their business from a fresh perspective.
Today, I worked with an artist who is preparing for a very important show this fall. After a near death experience earlier this spring, she has identified 11 elements that are essential to her. She is an abstract painter – one of my favorite forms of expression – and wanted to focus on form and atmosphere. This makes sense since she was literally challenged with form (to be here or not to be) and atmosphere (to enter the spirit world or not to enter).
She is currently developing 11 panels that represent each of her personal elements. Here are four that I can share now. They are mixed media using old acrylic paintings, encaustic and oil pastels. We had quite a long discussion about how “medium does not an artist make.” As a painting instructor, I feel it’s very important to play with media but not rely soley on media to carry the painting. One must find a way to master the medium and use it to convey a message. Otherwise, one could succumb to gimmicks.
I’m very pleased with the work she produced today. We also worked on her artist statement, truth and story in statements and the concept for her current body of work. In all…a very juicy day!