Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"What If" you joined me for an artist's retreat in Italy?

As a mixed media intuitive artist, I put down random marks, colors and shapes, and with each action I ask myself, "what if". "What if" I add a darker, a warmer, or a larger shape? "What if" I over-lapping it? "What if" I scraped through that area, or drizzled a thick paint into that wet space?

Asking "What if" with a sense of excitement and possibility, is creative. It's very different than asking yourself "what if" with a negative, fearful attitude: "What if" I really mess this up, look stupid, or fail.

I am always teaching and reminding myself to be positive; to respond with confidence, and to realize the idea that just popped into my head is a gift.

In the book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell describes the power of "thinking without thinking". When you have a decision to make in life or in art, getting into your head and analyzing it, opens the door to making excuses, procrastinating and coming from "control" rather than from "trust"... it inhibits expansive living. Gladwell provides proof that your gut responses to life are based on more information, more truth, and they are likely to be more satisfying. If that freaks you out and seems too impulsive...you might have a voice in your head saying "be careful...something bad might happen. However, if you learn to trust your crazy notions, fearful feelings will be transformed into "excitement". You will be saying "yes" to more of life's opportunities and you will be making art that is "alive" and more uniquely yours.

These watercolor and pencil drawings from my 1999 sabbatical in Italy are all about saying YES to "what if". "What if I went to Italy to study and paint?" "What if I juxtaposed a Giotto painting with the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, or perhaps framed a watercolor of Cortona, Italy with my drawing of a total eclipse of the moon?"

Have you ever wanted to experience Italy with a journal, sketchbook and camera? With time to savor and reflect? "What if" you said yes to joining me in Italy this May?

Don't wait to register...the deadline is March 1st. http://www.ilchiostro.com/workshops/painting-your-adventures-in-cortona-and-the-hills-of-chianti/

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