This wonderful class is FULL!
Women as Creators
Exploring the Layers of “Self” through Cold Wax and Oil
with Anna Figueira
Sunday, July 15, 2018, 10:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
For most of us who identify as women, “connected knowing” is a powerful process in our lives. What we know and how we come to know it are rooted in the experiences of a multitude of relationships and characterized by empathy, equality, and genuine caring. Our lives are layered and woven with complex patterns of these connections. When we set about to create, these layers, stitches, patterns, and connections speak our stories, our knowings, our truths. In this workshop, we will trust the playful and generous medium of cold wax and oil to tell our stories. The process is intuitive; no experience is needed; and the rules are “feel your power” and “enjoy”!
I hope you can join us for 5 hours of messy fun and rich exploration. You will leave with at least three creations on Arches Oil Paper, cradled birch panels, or art board. All materials are provided. Bring a sack lunch and an apron or smock (I’ll provide non-latex gloves).
Tuition: $60 plus $15 material fee
The act of creating, of making things with my hands, has always given me great joy and satisfaction. Growing up in the Midwest Heartland of Illinois, I shadowed my loving and ingenious “Gram” learning that one could make anything needed from the bounty of the land we lived on, and perhaps more importantly, that there was always a way to make things look beautiful. For the greater part of my adult life, as I acquired the credentials and experiences to be “wife” “mother” “teacher” “educator” and “academic”, my creative endeavors were motivated by utility but they were always inspired by the beauty and enchantment of the land and people surrounding me. In the High Desert of Northern New Mexico, I learned to shape adobe bricks into a comfortable casa for our growing family. With great contentment I plastered and teased adobe walls into graceful shapes and fashioned stained glass windows to catch the rays of setting sun on micaceous clay walls. Later, living in Arizona, I played river rocks into flowing walkways and mandalas set into the portal walkways of my home, I practiced beadwork and weaving with my friends and teaching colleagues on the O’Otham Reservation and I stitched traditional clothing and dance regalia for my Diné grandchildren. In each of these places I was surrounded by great art from many cultural traditions and among my friends were many who wore the label “artist”.
As I am now in the rich “sage” time of my life, I have begun to relegate some of my professional labels to the back shelf. With the privilege of time and good health and the great joy of spending that time with friends, children and grandchildren, I find that art has become that clear bead at the center of my existence. Whether I am in Portland or Sydney Australia, where I spend 3 or 4 months each year, the largest measure of my days is spent in great happiness at my studio bench. I believe the title “artist” is becoming mine.
I enjoy working in a variety of media—encaustic, acrylic, oil and cold wax, and natural fibers. My current focus is primarily on cold wax and oil in abstract style. People have referred to my painting as “intuitive,” “healing,” and “textured.” Each of my works generally begins with a seed of an idea or image that brushed past me in my daily goings-about. It’s often from nature, perhaps a color that’s revealed when an azalea opens full throated, the texture of lichens on a stone wall, the pattern of fallen Norfolk pine tips above the tide line of the beach. These pictures are lodged somewhere in my head and they get carried into my studio to co-mingle with thoughts and concerns that occupy the contemplative part of my brain. The process is ruminative and introspective as I create colors on the pallet and apply them to whatever surface I am working on. While I don’t have a desired image in mind, the resulting work is intentional. It holds and gives shape to the sensations, memories, feelings and often to hopes that I want to narrate and share. It may be a story of healing, of anger over a social injustice, of sadness and grief for a loss, of joy for some life event. It may be a prayer of hope for my children, my grandchildren, or the many people I love.
The story told by each of my paintings is “my” story but that story may be “about” you. For that reason, one of my greatest satisfactions is to share my work with those to whom it speaks. Because the label “teacher” is inherent to my being, I also feel compelled to share the process in workshops and classes as opportunities arise. Each time I “teach” I learn and as an “artist” I constantly seek out opportunities to learn about new media, techniques and methods, and most importantly to be in the company of and inspired by others who practice art as a way of seeing beauty in the world and telling their stories.