In July I had the pleasure of receiving a brilliant invitation from an old friend who lives in Courtenay BC.
His proposition was something like this: "I'm thinking you come for a visit and while you're here we create some kind of family art camp / workshop. Would you be into something like that?"
And after talking it through, I found that I was.
In planning for this workshop I thought through all the kinds of workshops I could lead. I've taught art to kids from ages 4 - 15, as well as university students. I know the principles of composition and colour and form and can draw a figure if I really need to. But those kinds of workshops didn't get me excited.
Then the idea to create a workshop on my actual working process came up and off I went!
So after some initial explorations of colour and paint and smaller tape experiments, we got the big pieces of paper out and work began on each family's collaborative work.
Tape was a super big hit for both young and old. The young, after some smaller tape experiments, immediately understood and embraced the playfulness and surprise that tape offers. For the older, tape provided a way to get out of their heads and ideas about having to make "good" art.
So after the taped composition was laid out, each family began working together to fill the rest of their piece together. It was a great exercise in give and take, communication and family dynamics.
The best moments were when parents and children were equally as excited about what they were making and what they should do next.
It was really fun to watch new experimentation with colour and pattern, which we had explored before we started working on the big pieces.
Taking the tape off was especially exciting. The white of the page really brought the works into focus and gave them the structure they needed - particularly where some makers had been particularly experimental :)
In the end, each family walked away with a colourful collaborative abstract artwork measuring 39"W X 50"H.
It was SO FUN for me to find a way to do a workshop that worked with my practice - namely bright colours, abstraction and playful ways of making.
I got to teach the things I LOVE, rather than those things that we sometimes things we have to learn.
Thanks to Dave, Darcie, Burwyn, Iris, Forest and Suki the dog for a fantastic time!
If you live in the Okanagan and a collaborative family workshop like this is something you might like to do, I'd love to talk to you about making that happen - give me a shout.