Zen and the Art of Painting with Bill Buchman


Bill Buchman warming up with his Zen Brushes

Even though I have not spent a lot of time in my studio these past few months, I have managed to do a bit of art here and there, and I attended a workshop. Some of you may remember the classes I took last year with Bill Buchman, notably his Creative Breakout class -wow! I had such a good experience in his class learning and being inspired by Bill's art that I looked for another workshop with him at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts this winter. In February, Bill offered a two-day workshop called Zen and the Art of Painting. I signed up in a flash!

Bill Buchman

Bill demoed and spoke about the Zen approach of reacting to the moment. On the painting above which is in his creative breakout style, he used oil pastels to enhance the painting and spoke to us about what 'enhancement' meant and how to go about it. I filmed much of the 2-day workshop with his blessings and am currently working on a series of videos. I've finished 4 videos that are unpublished as I am not done going through the material yet! When the editing is done they may even be put together to create one longer video -I will let you know. While filming that first day my camera ran out of memory before Bill did his demo of the Ensō circle - but, I was still able to take photos of Bill painting an Ensō with the brushes he designed, see below. 




Zen brush


Zen Pen

Yesterday I took those photos and a couple of short video clips and created a cool Animoto slideshow video. To view the video either click here or start the video below. From Wikipedia:
Ensō (円相) is a Japanese word meaning "circle" and a concept strongly associated with Zen.
In Zen Buddhist painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create.

Yes, the Longboat Key peacocks are a small part of this art video : )



After Bill demoed all of the students had a chance to do an Ensō. Here's mine:


I tried to be very free and in the moment while I was painting and this is encouraged here. When it was done, I saw a bird in my Ensō, do you? Below is another Ensō Bill that painted, one of his wonderful figure drawings and a photo of him getting into his demo!


Check out his website for much more. He has available books he's written, instructional DVDs, brushes & pens plus more info and many photos . . . 



In March, Bill was part of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota's Studio Tour. 
My friend Cheryl and I visited his wonderful studio - 1800 sq ft!!! 


That's all for now, I hope you enjoy and thank you for the warm welcome back : )

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
  ~ Vincent van Gogh

hello . . .

Lenna & Kathy Oravec at Nia on Siesta beach - December 4, 2012


To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
  ~ Bertrand Russell

If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
  ~ Henry Ford

Above are two quotes pulled randomly from a document on my computer, that contains all of the quotes I've collected because I love them. 15 years ago, my son Decklin created a program for me that randomly selects a quote I can add to my email signature or anywhere else. With a click of the mouse, a quote is chosen randomly from a very large list and copied to the clipboard, ready to be pasted anywhere. I love this program and still use it! So often the chosen quote matches my current thoughts or state of mind; it’s quite uncanny.

I wish to say I am sorry for my leave of absence from my blog. It has been a while since I have had so little to share with you! I think most of you know I have recently moved house and that has been the main culprit. We have been here in our new home 4 weeks now, which seems incredible.

I have not begun to unpack and organize my studio – I only continue to put this job off. A lot of other things are going on and so doing this was another decision making process that I did not feel I had the energy to face. And it still remains undone! Instead, my creative outlet recently has been my photography. Lately I have been working hard on catching up with the uploading of my photos and you can find them here on Blipfoto where I keep a daily photo journal, and also on flickr.

Since I like to use this blog to mostly share my art making process, I have not had anything to share with you! I do know I will make art, work in journals and create with paper & fabric again, but I am not at that place yet. We are doing a large amount of landscaping with the help of many talented people and that takes a lot of time. I am very seriously working on my health issues by exercising daily and sticking to around 1200 calories a day – fresh, wholesome, mostly vegan foods. I found out recently I have a chronic liver disease (fat cells in my liver) that can be reversed by losing the extra weight I have been carrying. I have lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks and while that is slow, I think it is good. Only 28 more to go!

So, do not fear! I will return with my art when I get things organized here. In the meantime, I will check in when I can but you can almost always find me on Blipfoto. The weather is beautiful here in Florida now and I am still dancing in Nia class as you can see by the photo above. All is well and I truly hope the same for you. 

xo lenna

Bill Buchman demos the Big Gesture

I have a very short video demo I took of my instructor Bill Buchman showing us the "big gesture" with sumi-E brush and ink. The direct link is HERE if you do not see the video displayed below. Enjoy!



More on this class is in my previous blog post, scroll down or go here!


It's never too late -in fiction or in life- to revise. ~ Nancy Thayer

I've been inserting quotes from my very large list of quotes via a 'sigmonster' program my oldest son Decklin created for me many years ago. I click on the desktop icon and one of my many quotes is randomly copied from my file to my clipboard. Then I paste it in! I have been trying to use the first quote that comes up (instead of asking again) and it has worked very well so far.


The Big Gesture and more . . .

It seems to take me a while to catch up with everything these days, but that's okay. From my art class on Monday, the one I have been taking . . . I was late to class because of this:


yes, a peacock. In a driveway!

Amazing! I had to stop and get out of my car, take some photos. 
My teacher Bill said he had never gotten THAT as an excuse for being late before!
* * * 

In class, Bill demonstrated the Big Gesture with Sumi-E brush. 
Here is his demo piece below - it is a Zen idea of spontaneity in painting.
I hope to have a short video of his demo to share with you soon.

After Bill demoed, we all took turns trying this ourselves . . .  
Rebecca

Mimi

Lynn - wow!


Mike


a close up of part of my big gesture . . .
Switching gears . . . .
don't those look delicious?

Bill is continuing to teach us about color and line and water media.


Yum!!

painting by BILL BUCHMAN 


Below is what I painted after listening hard to what Bill had been teaching us about not over-working the water media into the paper -let it flow and react to it instead of trying to fix it.
I am pleased!


It is hard to learn new ways but I feel at least this time I was able to tune in to what Bill has been teaching us about line, color and paint. We have just one more class . . . Bill does not resume teaching at the Longboat Key Center for the arts until next January as the classes are only held during the "season", yikes! At least I have his book and two DVDs!

painting by lenna  : )


The best way out of a problem is through it.
  ~ unknown



Enso: zen circles - with Bill Buchman

Last Monday in our Creative Breakout class our instructor Bill Buchman showed us how to do the Enso using Sumi-e brushes and a reed pen. This is a different kind of painting than I have ever done before. I had seen him demonstrate this in his DVD Zen Breakthrough, but it was definitely a challenge to do! Here is Bill's enso . . .


signing his name 



Then it was our turn. Each student came up and Bill helped us out. He prepared a good amount of sumi-e ink or gauche loaded up on the brush for us . . . and he coached us! 


Rebecca's enso -nice splatters!

Barbara is practicing first; we all did. A good idea.

we signed our names with the reed pen
Paul is doing great with his


Each one is different . . . 



I also took a video with Bill's permission of his demo of the enso ~ view it below -



The direct link is here: http://youtu.be/bH29wGrHFwQ



To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever.
  ~ Henry Drummond

make a bad painting -it is not easy!

This was the exercise given to us by our instructor, Bill Buchman: make a bad painting. I am taking an abstract art class with him called 'Creative Breakout' on Monday afternoons, and a creative breakout it most certainly is! Bill said to us in his lecture, "Freedom is the key. Go in the direction of freedom (in your art) -take risks. That is where you will find your melody. Freedom is the battle cry, and the razor's edge you want to walk is between freedom and control. We are always trying to put a halo around everything we do. Stop judging, measuring, controlling and see if you can find that melody that will take you there. We are going to try to make a bad drawing/painting today. It is not easy. Be aware of what is going on in your mind -observe it. Remember that art is the one place where you can screw up and nobody gets hurt!!"

I had an awesome time with this prompt and will show you some of what the entire class produced. We were fairly prolific under the guidelines of this exercise!! Click on any photo for a larger one . . .  My first try, step-by-step is below. I observed myself being very aggressive with my strokes.






 Bill's painting is top right, below . . . . mine is underneath his.





Our instructor Bill's painting, below - I love it!


Another "bad' painting of mine is on the bottom right below.

Close up of my first one, below.




So many of these are GOOD!! 





I am really learning a lot, trying new things & enjoying! 


when into thine eyes I gaze

Here are a few close-ups of the small collage on canvas I created for the grand opening at Artspace, a working artist studio and gallery on Anna Maria Island, FL. They made a "call" and are having an exhibit of small works (no larger than 5" in any direction) on a "recycled" theme to celebrate their opening. I took papers, photos, old labels, receipts, a shell and string picked up on the beach to add to my collage. Click on any photo for more detail.

I adore these pen shells I find




This cute little house was a gift from Helga Strauss.
You can find them and more at her new Etsy Shop!


I wired the back for hanging at the show . . .



There are more photos HERE -including some of this piece hanging for the exhibit! 
See if you can find it hanging on the wall  ; ^ )

p.s. The Stella Artois label was truly recycled from one of Steven and my "date days".
hee hee! We had lunch at Spanish Pointe restaurant and marina and the label on my beer bottle 
so nicely fell right off!! The photo is from our honeymoon in 2005, that's why so much romance!

xoxo yours creatively,





artspace Anna Maria

Artspace is a newly opened studio/gallery located on beautiful Anna Maria Island in Florida. My friend Cheryl told me about it as she knew the owner ~ wonderful! To celebrate their grand opening they are having an art exhibit and asked local artists to make small, no bigger than 5" in any direction, works of art for their first show. The theme was "Spring Cleaning" and the idea is to recycle items from your studio!! I brought my submission in last weekend. The Grand opening is March 23rd; see the link above for details. Here are some photos I took the day I dropped my piece off.

my piece is to the left - with steven & I kissing! The photo
was on my desk along with the other items.... click for detail.


for the exhibit -click to read, it is funny!

for the exhibit

for the exhibit 


A peak at the studio space

Joanne's gorgeous pottery -this is a working studio/Gallery.

So beautiful! 


It will be great!! Steven and I will attend the grand opening  : ))

Visiit artspace's facebook page here!



Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously

Thanks to my friend Ann Medlin Hall for pointing out this really interesting talk on video I hope you'll enjoy too, from TED Talks: "Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing -- which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity." View this talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman.html 

an example of her art:

Tsunami 1.26, 2011 - Sydney, Australia

Go here: http://www.echelman.com/site/portfolio.html to see more of her imaginative work.

365 photos

I hadn't been adding photos to my journal at blipfoto for quite a few weeks; until recently I was stuck at December 31st, 2011... I just did not feel like it, perhaps some sadness was still with me after my father's passing. But recently, I got the urge to start adding photos again and decided to do what is called a "back-blip" -uploading and filling in photos taken but never uploaded- to my journal during January & February. One of the blipfoto rules is you are only allowed to upload one photo to the day you took it. One slice, one memory, of that day in time. During this process of catching up and adding photos to my journal I uploaded my 365th blip! This is *celebrated as a birthday* on blipfoto! For most people it would represent a year of daily entries, but for me it was more like 14  months : ) But that's okay - there are no rules about time!  Ta da! Here is my 365th blipfoto journal entry taken from my art class with Bill Buchman:


You can read more about it on my journal entry for January 23.
I am still catching up . . . not uploading for every day that I missed, but just for days with photos that are important to me or special in some way that I want uploaded to my photo journal.

Thanks for visiting! I have changed my comments here back to a separate page instead of embedded and I hope that makes it easier for you, I heard it was troublesome at times. I am sorry if the new captcha code (prove you are not a robot) is harder to do (I find it is) but unfortunately I don't have any control over that. I need to leave comment moderation on in order to keep phishing and spam off of my sites. They still try to leave it sometimes, but this way I can catch it and no bad links are posted!


art, nia, paper beads

It has been busy for me as of late, which is good, especially as I've been busy with creative things. I took some Nia classes over the weekend with 2 wonderful Black Belt Trainers, Winalee Zeeb and Caroline Kohles. On Saturday there was a 2 hour Elegant Elements (earth, air, fire, water) playshop, and on Sunday I took a regular Nia class with both trainers teaching. Winalee and Caroline are awesome and in Sarasota to run a Blue Belt Nia training with classes this whole week hosted by Nia Instructor Kelly Atkins at Sara Dance!

Saturday 01-07-12

Sunday 01-08-12 with Winalee on the far left

It was a great experience and fun to dance with my new friends I have found locally through Nia. This morning I will be back to my Nia classes on the beach with Kathy Oravec. Last week was too windy and cold for me to attend, can you imagine? It was in the 40's!

My husband Steven is making a paddle for stand-up paddle boarding for my friend Cheryl. He's made some lightweight kayak paddles and was inspired to try a stand-up paddle after talking to Cheryl about it. On Saturday after Nia, Cheryl and I stopped at Lucas Boatworks on the way home.

Chreyl LOvEs her lightweight custom made paddle!

We went out in Starfish with the electric motor


Cheryl & Chloe - too cute!

Steven with the electric motor - it's rechargable!

Yesterday was my art class at the Longboat Key center for the Arts. I had been taking photos with my instructors approval . . . and yesterday he asked me if I was filming?? I said, no -just taking pictures so far, but I certainly could!! So, I filmed one of his demos, then shared it with him and he said yes -posting it would be great! I will embed it here, but if you cannot see it below, use this link view it here on You Tube. It is fun and only 3 mins long.



  The new header on my blog came from a creative exercise I did in class with Bill last week, I wrote about it here on this post. Besides taking this class, I am preparing to teach a collage class, Collage for the Soul - locally here on Anna Maria Island! This will be mostly Nia students who found out what I do and requested a class . . . I had forgotten how fun and exciting it can be to prepare for a class like this! It has been a little over 2 years since I've taught class in person (the last time was when we lived in Connecticut!) and I am so looking forward to it on February 1st!

I have been working on creating paper beads and learning more about them . . . I am not ready to announce the swap yet but soon! Some of my beads so far . . . .


This swap will be fun! Stay tuned .  .  . 

Hope you are making time for something creative, yes?? 






quiet creativity

Yes! I am still here, working quietly in the background.
If you could see me, you'd find me taking lots of photographs and even a video or two, traveling to state parks & disovering Florida on my "date days" with Steven, tweaking my blogs and websites, talking with my husband, my mom and my sister, visiting local beaches and gathering treasures, taking Nia movement classes (the best thing I have done for myself during this time), and celebrating an anniversary of the heart on October 25th with Steven by going to Sanibel Island last week, one of our favorite spots.

Plus, I have been visiting Museums, watching dance performances, cooking creatively, planting flowers (and weeding!) plus harvesting basil, parsley, rosemary and even romaine lettuce, wow! I have been quiet here on my blog since my dad passed away, I think because I have not done a lot of mixed media art like I usually do -that is what I typically share here. I realized the other day though, that I have been doing a whole lot of other creative things while I have been thinking, processing and of course, supporting my mom. It feels right, but I wanted you to know.

"date day" at Myakka River State Park Oct 16

Yes, you must be aware of Alligators!
Myakka River State Park is one of Florida's oldest and largest parks.
http://www.myakkariver.org/index.php

76 feet up - Myakka has a canopy walk through the trees and a tower to climb up!

beautiful treasures on a Longboat Key beach






Steven being silly - pretending to fish like an Ibis! 



a beautiful Sanibel Sunset

There's more I could share, that's for sure -but this is enough! I'll be back . . . . I am just taking my time about it and not worrying. -yours creatively, lenna


creativity, photos + The Ringling Museum

* my husband, Steven *

Taking photographs and perhaps playing with them in Photoshop elements has been the only way I have been creative since my dad passed away October 1st. I know this is to be expected and I know it is okay that I feel this way.
I understand it . . . and yet, it still feels strange to me not to be doing any mixed media art for this amount of time, about 3 weeks. In general, I am a fairly prolific artist and so, I feel slightly out of step right now. I have been thinking about doing an art journal page - truly, it's just a half a page to finish a journal, or some ATCs. There is also a 4x4 themed piece coming due at the end of the month and I have even been thinking about getting started on my Sketchbook Project 2012. But basically, I keep telling myself that yes, when I am ready, I will start up again with paper and paint and fabric and ink. In the meantime, I am glad to have my camera and the creativity it affords me.

On Saturday, I took myself and my camera to the Ringling Museum while Steven was out using his new paddle at a local messabout. While at the Ringling, I visited their 2 Circus Museums. This was a new experience for me having never stepped inside them before.


Inside the Circus museum, I could not resist taking a photo of myself among the clowns. I especially enjoyed all the posters and the history I learned about the Circus.


After lunch at one of the cafes, I walked through a beautiful Rose Garden on the estate where I took many photos before continuing to the Ca'd'Zan Mansion that belonged to John and Mable Ringling. It's described as “the last of the Gilded Age mansions” to be built in America, Ca' d’Zan has 56 incredible rooms filled with art and original furnishings. I only saw the first floor and that in itself was quite amazing. It is huge and looks out over Sarasota Bay, Florida.

The Rose Garden 



For Frieda . . . 


A glimpse of the Ringling Mansion . . . 

Inside, looking out at Sarasota Bay

The courtyard overlooking the Bay . . . 

Another view of the front -click for details

Next, I walked towards the courtyard of the Museum of Art, which I had visited before. The Ringling property spans 20 acres! More about the history of the Ringling estate is here. In the courtyard of the museum there was a special dance performance being put on by students at FSU (Florida State University) as part of the Ringling International Art Festival. It was titled, When Art Refuses to Sit Still and be Quiet. The group of young women from FSU danced among the renaissance statues in the courtyard and I was most certainly entranced. I had danced in a similar performance in the courtyard of the Wadsworth Atheneum museum in Hartford, CT when I was a teenager. 





Then I made my way into the art museum proper . . . 




The painting below is by my great uncle, William Glackens.
I stood in front of it for quite a while.





I am enjoying using my camera and figure I will be back to my 'usual' creativity before too long. I am simply feeling a little more quiet than usual, which is to be expected. I do talk with my mom a lot, as well as my sister and my husband Steven and it seems we are all just moving through this life changing event of my father's death at our own pace. Do not worry, we are as fine as we can be. With love, lenna

p.s. I am not sure if the comments glitch has been fixed, but I did send notification there was a problem. If you get to a blank page when publishing your comment, please use the back arrow, open up the comments again and you should see your comment there ready to be published. So sorry for any inconvenience!

If you'd like to see more of the courtyard and museum, about a year ago Steven & I visited the Ringling together. Afterwards, I created this 4 minute Animoto Video - fun to watch & create!

more of my photos here . . .
creativelenna. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr