Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thomas Bosket's art class "Honing Your Vision"

Dear Friends,
What a treat!  It's that time of year again!  Thomas Bosket is coming to Richmond to provide us with another opportunity to hone our artistic skills and to hone our vision of ourselves as artists.

If you are at the intermediate skill level or beyond, this could be a fabulous class for you!  In this six day class, Thomas will lead us on a journey together through some tough stuff and some very stunning parts of what it means to be human - a journey that exposes our deepest longings and desires - one that will be tough at times and thrilling at others.  We will be taken out of our brains into our bodies.  We will be exposed to raw energies and experiences that may be uncomfortable but definitively alive.

In his almost twenty years of teaching art, Thomas has developed many exercises to help students break through their self-imposed limits on their artistic abilities.  The most memorable one I ever experienced with him was the following:

The first time I worked with Thomas was at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.  I was a fairly inexperienced artist at the time, having only been drawing for about 18 months.  One of the main issues I was struggling with was feeling like there were two parts of myself artistically - the one who wanted my work to look perfect, photo-realistic, controlled, and the other who had lots of pent up emotion and just wants to express herself - wildly!  I couldn't begin to figure out how to blend the two on one sheet of paper.

Thomas gave me an exercise to help me out.  He tore off two 6' pieces of 3' wide craft paper and taped them next to each other, giving me a 6'x6' "canvas" to work on.  He put it on the floor.  He then sat me down, put 30 different writing implements in front of me - a Sharpie, pastel, pencil, charcoal, etc., etc., even a stick and several stones.  Then he set the timer for an hour and blindfolded me.  His instructions were to listen inward and to express myself however came to me to do so.  I immediately picked up something - no clue what - and began to make marks on the paper.  They varied at times from frenetic to chaotic to subtle and almost not even there.  I switched implements frequently.  I felt completely absorbed in the process.  My feelings cascaded all over the place.  At one point I heard some of the other students pointing at me and laughing at how I looked.  That took me right back to elementary school and fellow students' judgments.  My face burned with embarrassment.  Then I heard Thomas go over to them and tell them in no uncertain terms that they had no business saying a thing about me, that they were to work on their own work or leave, what I was doing was exceedingly important and they had to leave me alone.  Wow.  That healed some old wounds.  And gave me just what I needed to keep going, a bit freer of self-imposed constraints.

I continued to draw.  I went very interior.  The minutes flew by, dragged by, eluded me, then, suddenly, the timer went off.  I was excited to look at what I had drawn.  I had become quite attached to certain parts I thought would be emotive.  With my eyes open, it was difficult to find those passages.  What I came to realize was that it was about process, not product.  I was so absorbed in the process that I experienced bliss in the moment.  I learned a whole new way of thinking about art through that experience.

That is the type of teacher Thomas is.  In this workshop he will give us exercises which will help us shift our perceptions of ourselves, our worlds, our art in ways we can't begin to imagine.

If you are at a place in your life where this sounds like a good journey, one you want to take, please get in touch with me and let me know.  We can only take 12 students, so please sign up right away to insure your place.  The logistics are below:

When:  June 19 - 25, 2011
           Sunday, June 19, from 2-6 with dinner afterwards
           Monday - Friday, June 20 - 24, from 10-4 daily
           Saturday, June 25, from 10-2
Where:  Crossroads Art Center at Staples Mill and Broad, Richmond, VA
Cost:  $600 for all instruction and dinner on the 19th
How to sign up:  send me an email, then send me a $300 deposit to reserve your place.  The remainder will be due by June 1.

If you're interested in learning what others have to say about Thomas's teaching, you can go to Rate My Professors to see what his students at Parsons School of Design in NYC have to say about him.  It's kind of fun to read their critiques! 

Each time I've worked with Thomas, my artwork has taken a quantum leap forward.  I can't recommend him highly enough.  I hope you'll join us if it feels like the right class for you!

Happy Creating!

P.S.  By the way, if you live outside of Richmond and are interested in taking the class, let me know - we can probably figure something out about a place to stay.  Don't let that little detail stop you!

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