suspension of disbelief
On September 26, Marsha Mis presented a workshop called “Accidental Art” at the Grand Island Memorial Library. The purpose of accidental art is to explore abstraction and nonrepresentation art of all kinds. She has been the artist in residence at Art Park in Lewiston, N.Y. and she has shared her techniques with groups associated with the Western New York Alzheimer’s Association. People experiencing this disease, as well as their caregivers, are going through an extremely difficult time in their lives. My family and I have been through this. So we know how important self care is. Distractions from stressors, as well as creative projects are great ways to do self care.
In this workshop, we did three art projects, all of which were designed to loosen the creative spirit within us. They were all fun. There was a printmaking project, a construction project with all sorts of colored papers and beads and strings so that we could make something fun and 3D, and a drawing project. Because the drawing project took the longest (I just finished my modern art creation, several weeks after the workshop), I’m going to share how the project went from scribbles on a large sheet of paper to an unexpected piece of modern art.
On the day of the workshop, the instructor gave us large sheets of thick paper, pencils, and erasers. She told us to scribble on the paper and to use a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The picture above shows how I did the scribbling project. It was fun. I’ve never actually been encouraged to scribble, so it felt great to just draw without planning, without looking at reference material, without doing the things that people usually do when drawing.
The next part of the process was to darken lines that you want to keep and erase other lines. In other words, to try to find form within the mess. It’s neither necessary nor desirable that the forms that you create resemble anything real. This is nonrepresentational art, meaning that it doesn’t have to look like anything. It is form for the sake of form.
Because the class was two hours long, we didn’t have a lot of time to finish creating each project. So we had to wrap up the drawing project long before we were actually finished. Marsha suggested that we continue working on the work in progress at home and she said that, if we wanted to, we could add color to it.
I spent several weeks working on my creation. I decided to add color to it, as well as some bits of collage. I had a lot of fun and, day by day, the project kept growing and changing until it turned into…
So I managed to create abstract art from a great big scribble. It was a fun project that anyone can do. All you have to do to make it happen is to let go of your expectation of realism or perfection. Enjoy the process and don’t worry about the result and you might be very surprised, as I was.
And… in a few weeks, Marsha is coming back to teach another workshop, with three different art activities! I am looking forward to that!