Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Creativity Demand Class Ready to Go

At the end of April at the Out of Heart and Hand Retreat, I am teaching for the first time a class that was developed from my Creativity on Demand dvd. I am so excited about this new class and hope it inspires the students as well. Yesterday I shipped jars of paint, a journal for each of the students as my gift, my newest sketch book and lots of other fun stuff. We won't be working with fabric but instead learning how to develop ideas into solid compositions and designs.

Our first day will be to start the journal/sketchbook. One the first page they will be required to write three entries: their objectives, goals, desires as an artist; subject matter that fascinates them; and finally, the road blocks/fears that they encounter on their journey.

From there we go to some simple exercises....mostly play. Sorry no cute wardrobe here...I am taking what I call my tasteful at home studio clothes....and possibly one or two nice things for dinner. Does this preclude the wearing of cute shoes? What a horrible thought?

Even though I still love teaching as much as I love making art, I think I am going to take a small sabbatical in 2008 and spend more time in the studio. Of course, as I look at my 2008 calendar, I realize that I may already be in trouble but somehow I will work this out. So as promised in my earlier whining post, here are the decisions I have made. As of June 1st, I am raising my workshop fee and requiring at least two day classes. With the type of material I am currently teaching one day just isn't enough. I am pushing the students like mad just to get through everything which gives them very little time to actually see something come to fruition. This decision will probably keep me from some jobs but at present it feels like the right thing.

There is a great exchange of energy between teacher and student that can feed the fire of creativity. However, when you are traveling so much that you have no outlet for that energy a blockage occurs. I should speak only for myself....but I need time to develop where I want to go next and that can only be done in the studio. I know many of you don't travel and teach but are swamped with other commitments. Do you feel this same need? Or is this just another one of my obsessive compulsive manifestations?

Tomorrow I promise pictures of our roses. Sweet Ronnie grows antique roses and they are really putting on a show right now. Off to contemplate my plight...


Mrs. Mel said...

I so agree that it takes time to feed the muse, develop new artist ideas, experiment and fail and then come out of it with a new insight. We teachers begin with plenty of stuff to share but eventually we wane thin (if only it were our figures) from repeating the same things. Our enthusiasm suffers and we need to take a break for infusion of peace, contemplation and renewal.
I can dig it.

Rayna said...

I have done the same for workshops: two day minimum and have cut back for '07 and '08 because last year, which was wonderful, left me frazzled. Yes, it gets crazy out there - and yes, I, too, need more time to recharge the batteries and make STUFF.

I await your photographs.

Anonymous said...

Mizz G, I reckon you're spot on with raising your fees and doing two days classes as a minimum. (Me, I'd be tellin' 'em two days AND a lecture, to make it worth while!). It's hard to find the right balance, yes? As you say, the energy from teaching is such a buzz - but it HAS to cycle back into YOUR work, otherwise you're gonna burn out. And the whole reason you have got to the point where you're so wonderful as a teacher is because you TOOK the time to develop your artistic voice. So you have to renew that. Pictures! Show me PICTURES!!! LOL!