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 I've finished 4 videos that are unpublished as I am not done going through the material yet!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

creative woodworking

My husband Steven met Paul Anderson through Lucas Boatworks. After discovering a similar interest in woodworking, Steven gave Paul some of the very nice, harvested wood that was my dad's -some cherry and bird's eye maple. There is truly more wood stacked up than Steven can use! Paul is a very prolific and accomplished woodworker; past president of the Florida West Coast Woodworkers Club . . . 

Read More

stamp carving 101

I am taking a stamp carving class with Julie Balzer that I highly recommend, Stamp Carving 101. It is an online workshop taught on a private class blog with videos. I finally made time to do Lesson 6 and even though it was challenging, it was successful! we learned how to transfer and carve a Damask design that Julie provided us with.... this is my finished test sheet!
It started like this . . . 

After testing, I made two tags, one for me and one for my friend Linda Kunsman who encouraged me to take this workshop with her. That was a fabulous idea because doing this with her has spurred me on! When we finish all 10 lessons, we will send each other a tag book with one tag from each lesson! 
 click for more details/larger photo -this tag below I made for me! 
 Then as Julie suggested, I used the scrap pieces from trimming this stamp and made some bonus stamps. Mine were all patterning stamps -love it!

Thanks for checking in - I enjoy your visits!


Wake up with a smile and go after life . . . . Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it.
   ~ Joe Knapp




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



Creative breakout class with Bill Buchman

Last week in class with Bill Buchman, we learned more about color theory. He started with a lecture about color, showed us what he meant by color temperature and opposite/complimentary as well as nuetral colors and we also talked about our "bad painting" exercise the week before.



Then, we had a short amount of time to do an exercise based on his talk. For structure, Bill asked us to draw some letters using oil pastel which would resist the watercolor media we would paint over the letters. The letters should overlap to make it interesting. Bill did the one below while we worked on our own.

Color chart above is in Bill's book, Expressive Figure drawing
Close up of Bill's try - I just love the colors!! You can tell he is quite practiced at color theory.
Below, you will see some student work and different approaches to Bill's color exercise. I did not note whose work was whose while photographing but would be happy to add your name to your piece if you email me.



caught Bill Buchman by surprise here . . .
I have been having a great time learning from him and painting in his class. 
I will certainly miss it when class ends April 23.




(above) This is mine and I do not like it one bit!
I find solace in the remark that Bill made in an earlier class. He said,
"An artist is someone who can make something he does not like but goes on
to make more pieces, does not give up."
I know this one above is Barbara's, it is beautiful!

Another view of Bill Buchman's piece. 
Bill has made some great instructional DVDs should you want to learn from him yourself. Watching them is like being in a class with him. I have watched Zen Breakthrough: Making Contemporary Experimental Art with Sumi-e Brushes, reed pens and Mixed media and will go back again and again to learn more. My friend Frieda Oxenham in Scotland, purchased Bill's video Creative Breakout, The Art of Freedom and loved it! There are more DVDs available too - I just got his new one: Keeping the Melody: Making Contemporary Abstracts with Inspiring Materials and Techniques. I know this will keep me busy practicing his ideas and techniques till the next time I can take class in person with him again. There are a few more weeks to go of classes at the Longboat Key Center for the arts, so I am sure to be back with more.


I do like this part of my exercise a bit . . . click to view

: ) lenna 

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! 


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?? 






Creative Breakout class with Bill Buchman

Over a bridge out on the barrier islands but not very far from me, is the Longboat Key Center for the Arts - a division of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. When I discovered that exhibitions and classes were held there, I jumped at the chance to view and participate. I attended an exhibit of paintings and collage in October that I enjoyed very much and yesterday I went to my first class with Bill Buchman. I was very attracted to the title of his workshop ...Creative Breakout: Release the Power of Your Creative Imagination and the description: This course is a journey of self discovery through art – a complete hands-on exploration of what creativity is and how it works. Sounds good, does it not? Below are sections of one of the exercises I did yesterday in class using a new tool for me, Cretacolor AquaBriques. These are artist quality water soluble bricks of color that you can purchase in a set, or I found the single blocks at Jerry's Artarama. Like watercolor crayons, but better! Bill said this quality of artist grade tools would serve me, or any artist well. Bill wanted us to make a simple composition with rectangles and circles, thinking about color: opposites, similar colors and warm/cool colors.




The whole piece when it was dry this morning - click twice for detail.

After a brief lecture, Bill had us start working in class doing a warm up exercise with paint. He mixed tube watercolor with water in a small plastic shot glass and showed us how to get the right consistency for what we were doing. He lay down a drop cloth on the new studio floor so we would not get paint on the new floor and then he demonstrated pouring & splashing on a piece of watercolor paper followed by making a gesture in the air with your paint brush filled with paint. We are going to add to these paintings each week with a new exercise each time over the next 3 weeks. The idea is that besides the techniques we'll learn, there will be time to think and rediscover our pieces when we work on them again, looking at them with fresh eyes. Here is Bill in action:



He's picking up excess paint with a brush for faster drying

 Another student Elmer, is trying out the exercise

 his result 


 One of my favorites is below - by Barbara, I believe.

 Bill's example for us for our second exercise using shapes and color . . .

students working during class -so much fun to see the variations.

Bill's second piece he worked on while we worked on our shapes and colors - I love it!

I am very happy I registered for this workshop! Visit Bill's website where there is lots to see in the Galleries, plus instructional Art DVDs and even a book!