How did I develop my techniques?
One of my earliest memories of art training and instruction came from a middle school art teacher, Mr. Tylden.
I vividly remember an exercise where we took a piece of construction paper and changed it by using scissors to trim the edges and/or make a random shape. Then we considered the shape, turned it in in all directions until we could “see” something emerge. We used pens or paint to define and add detail to the image. The construction paper had the message, we needed to find it.
Another lesson that taught me to think outside the box…we considered and wrote down as many uses for a brick as we could think of. The interesting thing I discovered was that the more permission I gave myself to “go for it” the more the creative ideas came to me.
My father Paul Kuhn, taught me to ask, “I wonder what would happen if…?” The sense of adventure and exploration imparted to me through this simple question has helped me develop techniques heretofore unknown to me.
My son Bruno, encourages me to stretch myself, test my boundaries and make up my own rules. He may never know how influential his critiques of my art have been to me.
How does my subject matter and style relate to my message?
My style is organic and ever-changing. My message is the same.
Whether I’m using pen and my homemade inks, acrylics, pencils, oils, collage, or multi-media, my message is intended to evoke joy, peace, color, movement, happiness and whimzy.
Life is a gift of love. Filled with beauty and constantly changing sources of joy, my art (from the mind of God) attempts to reflect that.
Though God never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow; the expressions of His messages are as varied as the grains of sand.
He gives me the courage to “go forth”, try new things, be an explorer, an adventurer. This is why I usually sit quietly at my easel or art space and wait for God to speak. When I can sit calmly in the present moment and lay my thoughts and distractions aside, my inspirations and creativity begin flowing.
What am I trying to say with my work?
Painting and all art for that matter has always been a spiritual thing for me.
I find myself alone with my paints, pencils, brushes, whatever and I reverently enter into the presence of the Creator God who not only loves me unconditionally, but who has also given me the gifts of creativity.
Therefore, I believe it is He who creates and has things to say. My job is to record this message and so reflect the essence and love of the one who created me.
Recently, I was challenged to write an “Artist’s Statement“.
Okay, sounds simple enough, or so I thought. I wrote an artist’s statement a year ago for an exhibition of my art. To be honest, I wrote it before really understanding what information should be included.
One of my mentors, Jason Horezs, suggested answering the following as a good way to start.
1. What am I trying to say through my art?
2. How does my subject matter and style relate to my message?
3. How did I develop my techniques?
4. What factors in my life have lead me to create the work I do?
5. How has my work developed over time?
It is interesting to me that I had never really thought about my art in these ways. There has always just been this bubbling “something” inside me that wanted out. I gave in to these urges and more or less allowed them to speak for themselves.
Now, I guess I will “chew on these artistic noodles” for awhile and see what comes of it.
How has my work developed over time?
The bulk of the art that comes out of me is intuitive. By that I mean it’s a reflection of Divine inspiration. As much as I am able, I get myself out of the way and yield to my intuition.
My work has become for me more of a love and satisfaction. I used to be concerned about what others might think; but now, I do art because it fills me with joy. My art keeps me present moment by moment. It now frees me to express what is inside me without worry, fear, or uncertainty.
My work has become intensely spiritual and has brought me into the presence and loving arms of a Holy Father.
What factors in my life have lead me to create the work I do.
Since my middle and high school art classes and a few art courses from college, I have dabbled in art from time to time.
The REAL impetus to pursue art came from the deep and gut-wrenching series of events that led to my retirement from my teaching career. With anxiety and stress a regular daily visitor in my life, a counselor asked what activity could I do that could bring me joy.
Painting was the only thing I could think of. So I dug out my art supplies and proceeded to sit at the table for THREE WHOLE DAYS without ever picking up a brush. Fear was gripping the life and creativity right out of me.
So, I asked God to help me.
A short while later he lead the way. I follow His lead every day. My message is His message. My medium? Whatever moves inside me answers that question. I feel as though more than an artist, I’m a facilitator. I do not speak. My art speaks for me and through me and comes from Divine inspiration.
Just in case anyone thinks an art studio has art (painting, drawing, etc.) going on every day, I would like to set the record straight at least as far as THIS studio is concerned.
Right now, the time is 3:17 pm and there has been no new creative pieces worked on today.
My day has been filled however, with art-related tasks since just after my breakfast. I unloaded my car from a paint party, sorted canvases, folded aprons, prepped paper plate pallets and towels, unpacked, sorted and shelved paint, repacked easels, washed jars, inventoried paint supply, washed two trays of brushes, ordered more canvases, and refreshed the paintings on the walls (switched out old paintings with new ones coming up on my Paintezzy schedule.)
I have jotted down some new ideas that came to me while engaging in today’s mundane but necessary tasks. I will get to them soon when I enter my “in the zone” mode.
A soothing bit of music, a minute or ten of calming, centering meditation and voila’, the creative juices take over, I let go, and get back to it…real art.
What happens when your studio or art space projects and/or supplies and materials begin to pile up and actually “get in your way?”Some people may be more tidy than that and if so, that’s fine. But, I tend to move rapidly from one table or project to another and consequently stuff piles up.
My business requires constant packing and unpacking of materials and when items do not immediately get put away, they sit on tables or on the floor eventually making me detour around my work spaces.
The solution is really quite simple. (and I do this on a regular basis.)
1. Evaluate the placement of your stuff. If you discover that some items do not get put away over and over, maybe their destination should move somewhere else more accessible.
2. Assess the flow and usage of your materials. I have discovered that in my studio, having tape and scissors at my desk is not convenient when I’m working at my paper cutting and mounting area. My fix? Tape and scissors at both locations.
3. Inventory your materials. Depending on your particular art needs this may or may not be important to you. When I am packing up for a paint party I need to have paint at the ready. When I notice a decrease in my supply, I can fill my paint or materials supply BEFORE I need to pack it.
4. Relax and remember that art is a spiritual endeavor and one that should bring peace and joy. Do whatever it takes to make that possible in your studio or art place.