Zen at the barn.

Day one and two Dorothy Caldwell
What fun! A day exploring human marks which translates into a day of pure exploration. We started the day with large sheets of paper and black ink and the instructions to fill both sides of the paper with finger prints from one of our digits. Seems straightforward until you see how many marks can be made with one finger depending on how you touch the paper, how much pressure you use, what part of the finger touches the paper and so on.
After each exercise Dorothy has everyone share their work and it is so much fun to see all the different variations.
The class is made up of 18 women and 1 man and I bet the age ranges from the early 30s to the late 60s. We are from all over from Maine to Alaska and the tie that binds is is fiber.
The day in class was filled with experiments. We painted huge pieces of paper with long sticks that had brushes attached to the ends.. We made stencils and filled sheets with marks made from some wonderful Micron pens. I can tell you I am going to go out and but a bunch of the fine line pens. They are wonderful and so much better than sharpies. And I believe they work on textiles. We also created patterns out of one hand movement. For this exercise I held the pen between my two fingers. It was awkward but gave me a stroke with character.
Then we went outside and painted sheets of paper on the ground with brushes that were on large broom handles. It was interesting to see the different strokes that different body movements produced and lots of fun. I am seeing that I tend towards the space. I like white space and control. Going to work on losing that this week....
Dorothy is a wonderful teacher - very calm, nurturing and non- judgmental. She has a wonderful way of encouraging experimentation and making the exercises fun. I have enjoyed being in a stress free environment this week.
I stayed after class to do some additional marks and cut outs for the book we will be assembling next week. I am using some paper I made about fifteen years ago out of old blue jeans and my kids' homework papers. I have finally found a use for these lovely papers.
Next week upstairs to a totally different vibe. This week the upstairs class working with Nancy is conquering a really difficult design problem and I am kind of glad that I am ensconced downstairs in human mark land. I do feel guilty that I am not getting up at the break of dawn or closing up the barn at night. But for now I will just try and enjoy my freedom.