One of the many reasons I love summer is that I take a break from my regular studio hours and try to get out in the community. Since my teaching days I have always believed that the making of art should be accessible to everyone. There is so much fear around the idea of creating art that could be a holdover from a bad interaction with an insensitive teacher or just a lack of experience working with materials. In the past, I have provided materials for both children or adults to work on their own projects in an experimental, stress free environment.
Last week, I tried something different as I worked on a painting over the course of two days in the lobby of the Shoreline City Hall. My current series of abstract work consists of many both additive and subtractive layers on top of a traditional landscape painting. It is unrecognizable in the end, however, bits show through to remind the viewer that something old is beneath the new. I had the public help in the removal of certain layers in an effort to create the experience of collaboration between artist and viewer. What surprised me was the initial hesitation to actually touch a painting. From there it was diving in with an enthusiastic engagement with the process and turned out to be a great experience for the viewer and the artist.