There is something magical that occurs when I spend time in Venice. The labrytine streets of water, the ups and downs of the bridges, the skinny alleys and the glimpses of splendor behind picture windows. My annual artistic retreats here have become a cherished tradition, offering a lasting wellspring of inspiration.
My most recent weekend was immersed in the East West calligraphy world, both a show at the Biblioteca Correr and a corresponding worskhop. Studying with the same artist whom I worked with in Japan – Monica Dengo – we continued the exploration of the “mark”. Breaking free from the constraints of structure and legibility, we allowed our inked brushes to be guided by a deeper, more intuitive force.
While I am very “at home” in creating abstract marks, I experience some powerful benefits working in a group. We work alone, but sychronized with others. how satisfying to glance here and there, see a brush moving in a different color at its tip, observe another artist’s style and ideas. Often, slowing down to align oneself wtih that still inner voice can take time – the mind is unsettled, the day contains so much activity. Communaly, this slowing down is more intuitive and unforced, and aligning with that still inner voice became an organic process.
The workshop brought forth a new abstract book, with marks in blue and red, as well as some new calligraphic abstractions.
Inspired by my recent retreats and workshops, I will be passing on the gift of group work in a monthly creative group with Open City experiences. I invite you to join.