Why I teach

Every class, we do a round. One at the beginning, and one at the end. We introduce ourslves, mihi to the group, say where we have come from, and why we are here. For me, the reason is always the same. I am here, because teaching these classes makes so much of my art practice, and my life, make sense. From the very beginning, my practice has been about curiosity, both internal and external. What’s here, what’s going on inside? How is everything moving with me today? And what are these materials, and how do they work? And, through actively making stuff, what is the surprising alchemy that can happen between all of this?

I believe that originality is easy, and we prove it in every single class. The first exercise I teach, we just find out what is our softest mark, and what is our hardest one. How does it look when we stroke the paper like holding a baby chick, and how is it when we push out full weight into it? We meander around, trying different kinds of pressure and speed. And then we turn our boards around, and the drawings all look completely different. Newsflash, everyone is different! Different bodies, genders, energies, moods, cultures; everything affects the way we make those marks on the page. And that is originality. Magic, and easy.

I teach because every class reminds me of the simplicity, and wonder, of originality, and finding out what our bodies hold, and reflect. It’s an honour, and a privilege, to offer exercises, trials, challenges and experiments to help unlock that and see what we find together.

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