Shake It Up!

Louise Fletcher's 'Find Your Joy' course - Assignment 2

The first part of the challenge was to pick up colours that you don't usually use and select a range of tools that are unfamiliar to work with. The second part of the challenge was to then revert to more usual colours and tools but this time add in a couple of items from session 1. The key for this exercise was to try and focus on the feelings that arose as we worked.

Part 1: 'Shake It Up' video

I felt un-invested from the beginning probably due I think to choosing colours I never use ( browns, yellow ochre and a murky green) and changing my go to tools to round brushes, no scissors, no pencil, but I did let myself use willow charcoal and a credit card and a sponge roller.... by the end of the hour or so, I felt like I had an unwanted house guest and was ready to show it the door! However I did feel very free to play around and take some risks that I probably wouldn't usually and try some new ideas such as torn paper collage. I was feeling a bit care-less about it at this stage!

Part 2: 'Back to Blue' video

I instantly felt better and more energised by the brighter colours, and letting myself use scissors felt like a huge relief! My carry overs from part one were the charcoal and the credit card- though I notice I didn't really use this in the same way.

The biggest challenge for me was focusing on the feelings that arose and not getting too distracted by the making process and thinking about what the end product would look like! Putting those visions aside made me realise how I'm actually always thinking several steps ahead when I'm working in 'normal mode'. This was interesting as if you'd asked me yesterday I'd have said that I just respond in the moment to what I see emerging on the canvas, but perhaps the reality is that I don't always. I'm probably thinking more along the lines of, 'if I do that, then I can do that, and then after that, I might be able to do this.'

I found these exercises very thought provoking, in terms of the objectivity in my decision making as I work and reflecting on my natural thought processes. A new awareness around the way in which I work has arisen and the attachment I have to my current working process.

Understanding how we naturally come to our art making, the ways in which we feel most comfortable working and being aware of what excites and engages most in our working process are all valuable assets to us as artists. It gives us the opportunity to reflect upon it, work with it and even extend it. Or perhaps, if we're feeling brave, explore our opposites as an exercise to see what, if anything we may be missing!

I finished these exercises feeling that I should indeed perhaps shake it up a bit more often to see what rises to the surface!

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