Painting as a Path of Awareness: A 5-Week Intensive
The act and practice of painting is a transformative experience.
A painting is not simply a picture. A painting is a weaving of energy.
If you’ve been feeling the urge to paint — or perhaps you’ve been painting for some years but haven’t yet found your own personal, authentic way — this course is structured to bring you into a deeper and more empowered engagement.
Not only can we learn how to dig deeply into our painting and end up making stronger work, but the activity of painting itself can lead to a profound understanding of our essential self and our relationship to the wider world.
While full of formal hands-on exercises, this offering emphasizes the relationship and interaction between the painter’s inner life and the development of the painting. In addition to the process-oriented and expressive aspects of the course, an essential part of the course focuses on how to formally arrive at an aesthetically strong painting – what that means, how to attain it, and how that is connected to our felt life.
We’ll be concerned with both the process — outer and inner — as well as the finished work as an object in the world, and how this deepening process leads to stronger, more powerful painting.
By providing an integrated process that includes your inner life together with specific formal ways of working, your painting process becomes inherently authentic and personally meaningful.
This course is an Introduction to the 8-month Training, “PAINTING, POWER & PRESENCE”, that begins in September 2023.
The Weekly Sessions:
Week 1: The Recontextualization of Painting. This first session includes a slide presentation looking at the history and prehistory of handmade images. We’ll be expanding our understanding of painting beyond the current art world context into a larger sense of human purpose and engagement. Topics that are covered:
- Empowering Our Individual Painting Practice
- Accessing Deep Life-Force In/Through Our Work
- Painting as a Life Practice
- Communal Interconnection and the Desire to Share the Work
Week 2: Painting as Inner Engagement. We are exploring Foundational Drawing and Painting exercises as Mindfulness Practices: How Mark-making can Bring Us Fully into the Present Moment. Online Demonstrations with Participants encouraged to work alongside. There will be ongoing Q&A and time to share our work.
- Exercise 1: Blind Contour Drawing: looking at a simple still life, using graphite or charcoal on paper.
- Exercise 2: Marking as Notation of Seeing: looking at the room, using graphite or charcoal on paper.
- Exercise 3: Measuring Proportion and Geometry as a Mindfulness Practice, looking at a simple still life, using graphite.
- Exercise 4: Investigating Value Relationships as a Mindfulness Practice, looking at a simple still life, using black and white oil paint.
Week 3: Painting as Creative Empowerment. Often emotions like anxiety, frustration or self-doubt keep us from our painting. How can we reorient our relationship with difficult emotions in a way that empowers our work? We will explore emotional energy as a catalyst for marking and making. Online Demonstrations with Participants encouraged to work alongside. There will be ongoing Q&A and time to share our work.
- Exercise 1: Marking with Anxiety/Doubt: looking at a simple still life, using graphite or charcoal on paper.
- Exercise 2: Marking with Frustration/Anger: working non-representationally, using charcoal and oil paint on canvas.
Week 4: Composition as an Awareness Practice. A slide presentation looking at Composition as an Improvisational and Creative Discipline. Followed by a Live Demonstration and discussion of these topics:
- Being Sensitive to the Whole Rectangle – The Secret of Peripheral Vision
- Compositional Basics – Visual Wholeness and Getting Un-Stuck
- How to Receive the Painting
- The Importance of Our Torso
- Studio Logistics – Good Light, a Neutral Wall, and Stepping-back Space
- The Role of Intuition and the Meaning of Waiting
Week 5: Painting as Interconnection. Painting is a deeply solo creative activity. It is also a powerful vehicle for human energetic interweaving and sharing. We will explore possibilities for communal sharing of our work and how to structure it in a way that serves our larger creative life. Why that may be important for us and for the times we’re in. Topics discussed:
- Setting up Your Painting Practice
- The Desire to Show and Share – What is That?
- A Concurrence
- Painting as an Energetic Weave
- The Power and Importance of Presence
- 5 Weekly 2-hour Live Zoom Sessions
- Thorough Step-by-Step Demonstrations of the Exercises with Live Ongoing Q&A
- 3 Continuous Camera Views for Close-ups of the Mark-making and Paint Handling
- Recordings of All the Zoom Sessions Available for Repeated Viewing
- A Members Only Online Course Room, through Mighty Networks (no ads or data-mining), for Sharing and Community Support
- Weekly Critiques of Student Postings in the Online Course Room
Additional Benefits Included:
- Free PDF of the Slide Presentation for “Establishing a Reliable Painting Practice”
- $100 Discount on Tuition for the Full 8-Month Training “PAINTING, POWER & PRESENCE”
“Jordan’s teaching is a very heartfelt style of allowing me a way of looking deeper, digging into the unknown to find something richer, more joyful, and more meaningful in the question of why I continue to paint. I came away with many pearls to think over and revisit about my experience. One is feeling into the seeing.” – Michelle Jerome
“I was seeking a deeper understanding of what it means to paint, as well as guidance on how to find my personal ‘voice’ and strengthen my studio practice. I could not have found a better teacher for this stage of my development. Jordan’s classes have taught me the importance of deep engagement with my subject and how to achieve that engagement. He has shown me how to become aware of and deploy the specific energies and impulses I bring to the studio each day, how to assess my work at each step toward completion, and how to approach my work with exploratory rigor that does not lapse into counterproductive laboriousness. Jordan’s discussions are full of insight; his demos are outstanding; his critiques are honest, constructive and extremely helpful in sorting out a painting. All of this has brought greater clarity, confidence and joy to my painting practice.” – Leslie Blackmon
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