Wednesday, 25 September 2013


As I mentioned in my previous post, "Geisha", the second term of my process art classes focused very much on letting go of our inner critic. This was done in a number of ways, from passing your work around the class where each student got to add something to your work, to working with a blindfold on.
In this class we started off blindfolded once again. We used inks, tea, coffee, charcoal and chalk pastels to fill the page with random markings. We covered a number of pages, working fairly quickly, without much thought given to what we were doing.

The pages looked something like this:
One of the textured pages created using a mixture of tea, coffee, inks, charcoal and chalk pastels.
We lay the pages out on the floor and were asked to choose one that "spoke" to us. One that seemed to have a hidden image or images.
I unfortunately don't have a photo of what my chosen page looked like before I worked into it, but what I saw at first were 3 GIRAFFES! Two of them were quite humorous and cartoon-like, and another was more realistic. I also saw a couple of birds. I used a wash of black ink, some charcoal and chalk pastels to help define the shapes that I was seeing.
My final artwork, "Giraffes"
I was horribly disappointed at the end of this class. Not only did I end up with what I considered to be a really ugly picture, but I also didn't see any obvious meaning or feel any connection with the giraffes. The end result is not meant to be important, but it is always a bonus if it turns out well. I hadn't particularly enjoyed the process either, so I went home feeling rather cheated :(
The following day, on Facebook, a friend shared how her daughter had been gored by a tame boar and needed stitches in her leg. In her status update she said, "It has forced us to slow down. Assess, and figure out what this "Boar Medicine" means."
Boar Medicine? I had no idea what that was so I did an internet search. My search took me to a page about Native American Animal Medicine where I read,
"The Native American practice of "animal medicine" embraces an awareness that reveals itself when a certain animal crosses our path."
" Animal Medicine is that which you need to learn RIGHT NOW! and the lesson that is coming across your IMMEDIATE path. Another animal may come cross your path tomorrow. Your attention may be called to one of these animals through television, conversation, daily experience, etc. Regardless of how one of these animals comes across your path, study the message and apply to your daily Life . . . they have a message for you!"

Detail of "Giraffes"

The Giraffes...
Okay, so it may have been a bit desperate of me and really silly to have wanted to find meaning in the work I'd done the previous evening, but I couldn't help myself...
I looked up "Giraffe Medicine" and found this:
"Today Giraffe is letting you know that it's time to stick your neck out. Start making new connections, stretch yourself, reach as far as you can. You are up for the challenge."
And yes, of course it made sense to me... I'd just finished making a list of gift shops, online shops and markets that I could approach about selling some of the goodies that I make. Seriously!
So, the next time an animal crosses your path... ;)

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