Two weeks ago I participated in an Arts Integration Learning Lab at TRU. Arts Integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. We were encouraged as Artists to collaborate with educators in bringing art into classrooms/schools. It was a week full of new information and self examination.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly is my "artistic process". I first had to understand what exactly that meant, which is how does my painting come to be. I think because it is an intuitive process for me, it was quite a challenge to break it down into steps.
I have narrowed it down to:
1. Go for a hike/drive/walk/snowshoe.... or just start thinking about trees.
2. Spend some time thinking/meditating... and just feeling the energy of what I see.
( people ask if I take photos, but I find that I can't capture what I want in a photo... I call what i do.... inhaling the energy of what I see )
4. Choose size of canvas and background colour
5. Choose either ink and acrylic, or black gesso a canvas
6. Draw on the canvas
7. Think about the colours for at least 12 hours.
8. Start painting
My struggle right now is that I would absolutely LOVE to be teaching, and doing workshops with children and adults, but I have to create some lesson plans that would work well in teaching. Since I haven't been to art school myself, I don't know all the rules, and some of the rules I do know.... i often break but I like it that way. So I'm trying to find a balance between helping people feel a passion for art... their art... and gently teaching the rules... i.e.: composition, colour etc...
I think that what I have on my side is enthusiasm, and passion.... and the ability to dive in and learn as I go.
Liz R. Derksen is an artist living in BC.