There is no such thing as luck. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” –Amy Hempel
I had the pleasure to of teaching a mixed media workshop this past weekend at The Weathered Feather in Riverside. It was such a great experience, and one that I can only describe as magical.
I had a dream the night before that all went well. That comforted me as I made my drive to Riverside that morning. When I arrived, I was nervous, but also felt this sense of calm. This is what I have been working toward all year, this one single moment. It arrived, and it did not disappoint.
We started the class collaging a piece of wood with book text, maps, and sheet music. Slowly, the stories of each piece started to come together for everyone. Each student patiently sifted through the maps, looking for just the right piece to add.
One that serendipitously appeared in front of me was Riverside. Perfect, I thought. I knew at the moment the positive energy of the universe was with me, and my nerves washed away.
Next, we started to add paint to the background. I really loved how each student chose colors that best represented them, rather than choosing the colors I was working with. My process when teaching is very intuitive, and I encourage students to choose colors that make them feel like themselves and that they are drawn to. There is no right or wrong color.
Here’s where it was interesting. We all started out with one photo, but after we painted our backgrounds, we switched things up, and choose a different photo. It was again, a very intuitive and spontaneous process.
Adding more texture from paint splatters to using an old credit cards, paint caps, and skewers, we continued to build up the background.
At the end, I had them journal on the back of their finished piece noting what the piece represented to them. As were my words when I created class sample, there is so much symbolism within this one piece of art.
Here is what I wrote on my finished piece:
The Weathered Feather
Teaching a Mixed-Media Workshop
August 22, 2015
I want to thank my students for taking the class, and The Weathered Feather for having me.