Writeup – Feather Art Workshop 2021

A personalized painting tool

The feather art workshop with instructor Nancy Kimes was held in December of 2021. Attendance was sparse but something personable is gained with limited participants - we had the instructor's full attention! I was lucky for such an opportunity to fall into my lap for it gave me time to participate and take plenty of photos.

In this Feather Art workshop, participants were provided materials to both create their own feather brushes AND paint with the newly created tools! The brush creation process could easily take much of a creator's time and love as they customize and beautify their tools, so I am so happy that we were given ample time to create our feather brushes.

The brush and the breathing

Once our painting tools were assembled, we jumped right into using them! The process was as much about using our tools as it was understanding our tools. We were given time to experience the unique properties of our newly created brushes, of the way they felt in the hand and of how they prefered gliding upon paper. We were urged to relax into the creation process using calming breath exercises and repeating motions. There is a meditative aspect to the painting process we were shown, and the process was absolutely inviting.

Circles and much, much more

The creation of circles is important during this process of meditative painting. There is a start and a finish. There is hope and finalization.  These are called Enso circles, an ancient Japanese art-form blending art and spirituality. It is a fantastic feeling experiencing how the brush, the feather reacts to the ink and the paper. And yet, our painting technique did not start and end with the creation of circle figures!

Nancy introduced us to a marbling process using water and ink. We practiced placing ink to paper and then placing that paper face-down into water AND we swirled ink into water first before placing the paper into the water. The end products were subtle at times, with fine strokes and beautiful forms, and occasionally they were bold. The process was as much engaging as it was surprising and completely enjoyable.

Absolutely fun

The day was a success and though the workshop was scheduled for six hours, we didn't have a lull at any time. We were creating and enjoying the results all throughout. Each of us came out with a set of beautifies and an entire bucket of concepts to work into our art forms moving forward. Thank you Nancy Kimes for a fun and exciting workshop. I look forward to the next one in January, 2022!

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