Art Exercises That Rip You Apart and Make You Put the Pieces Back Together Again
Jeane had us do a couple of art exercises that really pushed me over boundaries I felt absolutely justified in having.
I like my artwork to include only the work of MY hand. I like to keep what I like.
Can you relate?
Well, I began a piece I was starting to like very much. Wait, that’s not true ~ I didn’t begin it, Patty did. It was handed to me, and I proceeded to render it completely unrecognizable because I made it my own.
Did Patty’s painting have an effect on me? I would have to admit it did, although no-one else would ever connect the two if they saw before and after pics. There was not a circle in Patty’s painting, or any recognizable shape, for that matter, but it did begin with her energy.
Once my own ideas began to assert themselves, I was attached. The piece was speaking to and through me.
I brought it to a point where I thought it was just singing. I even had a title for it: Patchwork Rhapsody.
I asked Jeane if we would have to pass this one on.
“No,” she said. Relief flooded through me.
“You are going to rip it up,” she continued. I am sure a shadow of devastation flickered over my face. I have no idea how the others handled it. But Jeane was not deterred from her instructions.
All three of us, clever students that we were, proceeded to start ripping out our favorite spots.
“Turn them over, ” Jeane roared, pouncing on our efforts. “You are not allowed to look at your paintings. Nine pieces should be enough.”
Those pieces were subsequently glued onto a piece of hardboard. The board already displayed a collection of torn segments from another exercise, where we wrote a list of fears we’ve experienced in out lives. I neglected to add, “I am afraid my instructor will make me rip up one of my favorite paintings.” Who knew? (Besides Jeane, that is.)
I did not pout, or complain. I bore the pain stoically, well aware that I had signed up for her class, knowing it was called “Risk in Artmaking.”
Jeane was also more than aware of the title of her course, and she was tough about applying it. She is adept at finding her student’s buttons and pushing them ~ after which she would revel in the work we produced as a result of being pushed off the edge. This made us forget she pushed us. Of course, truth be told, we didn’t have to go there. We could have backed away, but we all made the decision to take the dare. So, it was more us jumping than her pushing. I think. I may have to check back with Diane and Patty about that; have a sister session.
Damn, Jeane‘s good.
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