I started a new Playful Muse workshop series yesterday with an enthusiastic group of artists. As soon as they introduced themselves I realized that they would have no problem with the Drip Creature lesson I’d planned!
My demo consisted of the usual; painting a water shape and dropping in inks and gesso and then moving it all around with fingers, rollers, splatters, scrapers, etc. making sure to get some dripping off the paper to suggest possible legs. The only thought in my mind was to not make it look like yet another bird. No problem. Mr. Hiveskeeter appeared after a few minutes.
Do you sometimes get a glimpse of something shining with possibilities? I mean an idea, that is not clear to you yet, but holds enough promise to make you want to fly with it? Well Mr. Hiveskeeter did! I wonder what it was he really saw. You can always ask your critter to talk to you and they will answer. Or just speak for them!
Looks like you just got a bright idea, one to stick in that beehive of yours to keep for later. And you are so pleased with yourself, so utterly delighted that your bizarre attire is coming to life as well. Soon those buttons will pop and wings sprout and that stick of a body will become exotic and fly you off to not-yet-known locales where your Heaven Bank Notes are worth more than here. And the sages will be sharing the secrets of life, longevity, and more. . .
I know, sounds a bit like a fortune cookie, but that’s what happens when you find a pack of Chinese blessing money in your collage file!
One of my favorite poet philosophers, John O’Donahue wrote that “The imagination is drawn to what is awkward, paradoxical, and what’s contradictory. For the imagination contradiction is interesting. The imagination can dwell with contradiction and deepen it because it has a loyalty to the deep unity where everything comes together.” So I always suggest to students that they let themselves search out and find that which is a bit strange, in collage or word and see what they can do to find a place for it in the art. Sometimes the stranger it is, the better it works.
Each creature yesterday was different and each spoke to us in the writing with unique messages, blessings, and perspectives that the group could enjoy.
This was my warm up drip before the class. Yet another bird, I thought at first, til I saw the dog face emerge! Nothing profound here, just a character introducing herself as Birdog.