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Guest Blogger: JP MacConnell – Mastering Materials and Techniques comes with Practice and Repetition

May 2, 2019

Level 3 Studies in Art and Design – Exhibition – Class Name: Heliconia….Blog 3 in a Series

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I attended an exhibition of the Level 3 Art and Design at Gail’s Studio in August 2016, responding to an invitation sent out by Marilyn Olsen.  It was there that I was drawn in to the variety of media and the wonderful individuality of each student.

I had just returned from a 10-week

trip through Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark. The experience of being surrounded by the raw, remote and natural beauty stirred a new desire to express myself through art. I wanted to share some of what I saw, photographed and felt. This 8-session course taught me basic design principles and encouraged me to take some new risks. I began the process of expressing in a tangible way through multi-media.

Gail taught me to tame the little, worried voice inside that would demand, “Wait, what are you doing? What is going on here?” She taught me to replace it with relaxing thoughts of confidence and determination. To relax and think with my hands. As I loosen up and have fun with it, I see that the mastering of the materials and techniques comes with practice and repetition.

I learned that it is OK to be vulnerable, to ask for help, (even when it appears that the others know right away what to do after a demonstration and I am baffled). The issue is not to plead, “Just tell me what to do! Is this the right way to do it?” Gail would ask, “Well, does it please you? Loosen up, try another way and have fun with it.”

This practice allows me to slow down my mind and focus on one cut, one stitch or one brush stroke at a time.

Thank you, Gail, Ruth, Tesi and Ellen for your support, guidance, friendship and humor.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 2, 2019 10:46 am

    Great job JP! Keep up the hard work and continue on your artistic journey. Your felt pieces are wonderful and really give the feel of nature.

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