Itchy fingers…itchy eyes…itchy ears. No, not a list of my ailments but the way my body reacts when experiencing something which intrigues and inspires me. My fingers, ears and eyes start dancing, eager to grasp the essence of the inspiration, and express it with all my senses laid bare. Reacting intuitively to sights, sounds, smells, tastes and vibrations I find myself responding with gestural mark making with whatever is to hand, maybe even just drawing with my fingers in the sand or in the air.
Going with the flow, unburdened by rules, and seizing the moment sums up my philosophy to life and art. Add daily in-depth study and practice of Tai Ji, meditation and Qi Gong and, for me, the alchemy begins. My daily practice of drawing from life continually challenges me to absorb with fresh eyes and, through gestural mark making, express the essence and the energy of my experiences.
Sensitivity to vibration and the lifelong experience of living with profoundly acute hearing is embraced and treated as a positive thing which acts as a valuable stimulus in my work. The study of grounding myself – as learnt from observing Tai Ji principles is complemented by the practice of deep listening or sonic mindfulness and their interplay informs my holistic art practice.
“If you can see, you can see with your nose and smell with your ears. Gregorian chant has the scent of incense.”
F Franck, The Zen of Seeing
Through this continually evolving approach, and together with my passionate belief that everyone can draw and find making art an enriching experience, I have developed a unique approach to teaching art workshops. Entitled ‘Going With The Flow’, students are individually encouraged to step away from any restricting set of rules that govern their art practice. This freedom combined with an introduction to Tai Ji exercises and concepts, enables exploration with renewed confidence to accept the challenges and new directions from allowing their itchy fingers to take the lead.
“Leap and the net will appear.”