On Saturday Sebastopol was treated to a Beatles Singalong at Coffee Catz led by my friend David Klotz, the irrepressible music man I know from Wavy Gravy’s Camp Winnarainbow! David has recently moved to our town and joined the music scene here, so he was a bit surprised when the Cafe filled to overflowing with enthusiastic singers (of a certain age and cultural disposition) who knew most of the songs by heart.
I got a seat up front so I could sketch while singing, but really I ended up singing more than sketching. The Beatles were after all, exactly my era, and David encouraged us to not hold back but let our young selves emerge whole heartedly. He started with piano accompaniment which sounded like a bit of his own jazzy arrangements.
Then moved to guitar, and back and forth throughout the afternoon, embodying the songs, music and lyrics, with virtuosity and clear delight. Another fellow accompanied him on the guitar.
We’re all hoping to hear lots more of David’s music now in years to come! Or you can join him as an Adult Camper at Camp Winnarainbow in summer.
Zig Millenium pen and w/c in Strathmore Mixed Media sketchbook 5.5″X 8″
We watched the sun set in a blaze of crimson (through air laden with smoke from fires far away) over San Francisco Bay last night, singing Beatles songs and restoring our youthful hippy spirits. It was the annual Camp Winnarainbow reunion and a (mostly natural) high point of the year! I sketched until the floor was so crowded and the music so infectious, that I had to abandon pen and paint and groove with the others.
fountain pen and watercolor in Strathmore mixed media sketchbook, 5.5 X 8in
Camp Winnarainbow. Fun to be a kid at camp again, sleep in a teepee, do arts and crafts and dance class and Zen clowning, and swim in the lake when it gets too hot and wear costumes, oh, and sketch!
Wavy Gravy still at it! Officiating at a game of Beach Blanket Bingo by Lake Veronica.
Hearty delicious meals under the trees with Wavy reading poetry in the morning and “cabaret” performances in the evening.
Back at home I had more time to sketch, from my pictures, some of my favorite camp personalities, like Mr. YooWho. . .
Hiroko, the Butoh teacher.
J. J. Crashbang
Juan Too Many
Other art projects at camp. . .felted dreadlocks and rainbow tie dye t-shirts. Now that I’m home again, I’ve shed some of my hippy dippiness, but in my heart of hearts. . .
inks and collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″
up to monkey business
down with grown up’s worries
we’re here to play
pick a plastic flower
do a duck walk,
pound our chests
and let out a rousing chorus of
Toward the Fun!
I had to stop wearing costumes when i got home from camp, but I couldn’t stop painting them. My clown heart is still warm. So we have been doing kookie self portraits again in Muse group, and believe me, this one is quite tame compared to the student pieces!
The method? If you have the Photo Booth software on your computer, set it on the Comic Book filter effect and ham it up for the camera – like you did with your friends in those photo booths that printed out a strip of blurry pics. Size it to fit your paper, print it out and glue it onto your paper. Then start painting and collaging til you can see one of your many alter egos taking shape. This way you avoid trying to make pretty with the image and risking one of those uncomfortable self image – reality collisions!
I thought I would try out the gray hair look, along with some other nature touches. The Mask Grove at camp was nestled in a bay tree grove where ample lichen and lacy leaves formed a carpet of natural collage materials. The partial plaster mask was lovingly made by Vic to form fit our faces. Later we performed a mask dance on stage to rumba music!
These are “Metaphora Cards”, 5 “X 8” and made with acrylic paints and collage on mat board in an art process similar to the Muse Groups but with the added benefit of having the teacher Suzanne Edminster (my wonderful Four Hands Painting buddy) on hand to read them like Tarot cards! She had so many fascinating things to say about them. I wish I’d had my tape recorder handy!
Something about focusing in on this one, but she turned it upside down and got even more material from the image!
And for a while these cards joined a deck provided to people for “readings”, an intriguing alternative to Soul Collage cards and a perfect camp art activity!
watercolor and Uni-ball Vision elite pen in 5 X 8″ Strathmore Watercolor sketchbook
Q: What did the earth say after the earthquake?
A: Sorry, my fault!
Q: How do you keep a bagel from getting away?
A: Put lox on it.
Yes, this third grade humor helped to set the tone for the last week of adult camp with Wavy Gravy, where it’s never too late to be a kid again. But there was the Hip Hop dancing and the singing and walking the labyrinth and trapeze and stilts (I watched) and painting and Zen clowning and well, I guess you had to be there. Each morning Wavy on the rainbow stage got us chuckling and I had moments to do a bit of sketching. So here they are – of Wavy – and the backs of other campers as they sat and listened.
Wavy read Neruda’s poetry each morning, along with birthdays of famous people and exerpts from his book Something Good for a Change: Random Notes on Peace Through Living.
Some campers showed up in costume each morning.
Another camper listens quietly. . .
. . .while another videotapes.
One camper shared her vow: “Variety is the spice of life. And when I die I want to be well seasoned.” Each day at camp provided ample spicy fare!
inks, gesso, collage, pen on w/c paper, 10 X 11″
True straightness seems crooked
True wisdom seems foolish
True art seems artless
from the Tao Te Ching
Every morning while I was at Camp Winnarainbow I got up early for Zen Clowning with Moshe Cohen. We did all sorts of movements to wake up, loosen up, get connected, and align with universal energies. But we would take each movement, like opening up to sky energy, and “add humor into the equation”. Amazingly we seemed to know what that meant. . .just a little twinkle in the eye, a soft humming sound, a silly ripple of the fingers, and there it was. . .the cosmic joke that made our bodies and minds light as a feather, just by thinking it.
That humor, applied to art, makes it possible to step outrageously outside the bounds of previous knowledge/convention/expression.
I’m working on a Muse E-course offering right now and this piece will be available as a video demonstration of using inks and gesso for an art journal piece. On my collage table I have some little books of quotes and I immediately opened to this one.
My week spent in crookedness and foolishness at camp gained a new sense of clarity with the words “True art seems artless.” We must dare to be foolish and follow the crooked path. It’s really the only way to be original after all.
I’ll be “adding humor to the equation” this summer with a variety of different course and demonstration offerings which you can read about in my latest flyer.
Metaphor Card, inks and gesso and collage on mat board, 7 “X 5”
I did a wee bit of art at Camp Winnarainbow with the delightful teacher, Suzanne Edminster, who not only created this fun activity for campers but also allowed them to get their “fortunes read” using the Metaphor cards. This was another playful addition to an already overflowing schedule of events.
Metaphor Card 2
The monkey and the handsome Arab have something to prophesy not only to me but to you. Care to hazard a guess? It might in fact be hazardous!! or not.
Camp Winnarainbow 2012 (Adult camp)
That’s me with the yellow bow on my head 5th from the left. Just got back last night from 6 of the funnest (not a word, I know) days ever. That’s Wavy Gravy in the middle with the safari outfit on. We just finished the Croquet contest and Tea Party, one of many opportunities in camp for dress up and clowning.
I mostly left the arts and crafts activities to others and gravitated toward the performing arts to open up another channel on the creative spectrum – Zen clowning, Ankoku-Butoh movement, Hip Hop, drumming and various improv opportunities. All that, with lots of dress up, laughter and music all day long, swimming in the lake in the afternoon, eating way too much, and sleeping in a teepee.
Yep. My inner child got wide awake and joined my hippy self (drug and alcohol free) and got super groovy with a delightfully uninhibited bunch of other willing weirdos. I’m always preaching to my students that we must claim our eccentricity because that’s where our creative gifts lie. . .well. . .you gotta be willing to be WEIRD! and it’s so much fun.
Wavy Gravy is the master of this, of course, driving around in his psychodelically painted golf cart and emceeing all the performances with his gravelly voice and hilarious one liners. Listening to him I felt my funny bone growing so long I felt like I was on stilts.
(The only time I was willing to sit still enough to sketch was when he was doing his morning reading to us from the rainbow stage. If you don’t know who he is/was, watch the video Saint Misbehavin. )