Following our previous piece of news we thank Katie Sollohub for offering the below reflection and insight into her creative process.
“Last summer I was delighted to run a painting workshop in the beautiful setting of the Blue Idol Quaker meeting house and garden. Blessed with a sunny day, we were able to enjoy working outside, surrounded by nature. I like to start the day with a meditation – breathing, settling, listening to the sounds around (of birds, insects, occasional traffic and planes). Quietening the mind. For this is where the creative process can really begin. This is in my own practice as well as in my teaching.
“After a meditation, and a silent walk around the garden, the first marks are made with the eyes shut, drawing by touch, and from memory. Experiencing the creative process internally encourages us to really tune into our own personal response to a place. It also frees us from expectation, encouraging expression and experimentation with materials.
“From this place of play, free to experiment, comes the final part of the day, connecting to what you see, eyes open, looking at the world in all its wonder, listening to the sounds, marvelling at the colours, light, shapes, mood, and detail. Taking care to mix colours, making marks that excite and explore, layering, and changing the work. Its almost as if the process of painting is like taking a walk through the garden – moments of colour, tranquil spaces to rest, cool shadows, busy bees, paths and open spaces – and as we look, feel, respond, move, our experience is constantly changing; and so too can the painting.
“This summarises not just the day we had, but my approach to the creative process – ways in, ways to be quiet, settle, then explore and play. Most of all art is about making us look better at the world, rather than worrying about the world making our artwork look better!”
Photos of the Blue Idol garden in April 2020 by Eva Wrenwood.