Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Uplifting Graffiti" - Get in Touch With Your Inner New York Subway Artist

This past Saturday I taught another "Graffiti style" painting workshop. I often notice when I begin my workshops with a very short preamble and then a "let's get started, choose some paint" that some of my students develop a bit of a deer in the headlights look. I like to get stuck in - in my mind the learning is in the doing - and I am always delighted to look around 10 minutes later and see the students happily applying paint using all kinds of tools, including their hands, smearing, stamping, and dripping colour randomly. They are in the zone - not thinking and planning, just experimenting. Not having a plan is exhilarating! Often times the "mistakes" (there are none, in my opinion) turn out to be favorite areas of their paintings! Other times they simply offer up the opportunity to make new choices. It's just paint! It's just canvas! There are no rules! (Deer in the headlights looks again.)

My graffiti style evolved after an evening in my studio after a particularly trying day with a person I have a challenging relationship with. I was working very quickly, grabbing paint and tools and making lots of loose and loopy marks. I did not have any intention for the painting, I just wanted to get my feelings out. This painting was the result:

I was really delighted with the process and the result, and in the following weeks created these other paintings using the same technique. I call it Uplifting Graffiti!:

These are the paintings my students created in Saturday's workshop. The process includes layers of dripping, stamping, stenciling, etching, lettering and spray painting:

My next Graffiti workshop will be held Sunday, August 24th, at Shine Art Studio in Mill Bay. Please contact me if you would like to register!