studio drawing in charcoal and pastel by Canadian contemporary artist barbra edwards, Gulf Islands, BC
April 4 2018
Mentored Independent Studies this Summer

Last week a friend and I were talking about finding Balance. Exactly what is that perfect mix that can fill the creative well? It’s about inspiration of course, and travel or staying home, people or no people, making, not finding time to create. It’s having a personal, peaceful place to actually create.
But wait, that's not always the case for me. Some of my best work has also come out of uncomfortable, new and disruptive situations. Aha. That’s the thing about creative Balance.

I just received news that could be disruptive, in a good way. I’ve been accepted as one of twelve artists participating in the MISSA Mentored Independent Studies with Harold Klunder in June. The truth is, I’ve grabbed any opportunity I could over many years to learn from Harold, so this was sweet news indeed.
Not set up as a workshop but closer to a mini-residency, MISSA asked artists to submit their portfolio along with a proposal of what direction we’d like to pursue during our time there. Going through that process forced me to take an honest look at what projects I want to spend more time with and which I need to tuck away in my journals for now.
Note to self: remember this kind of studio immersion is meant for open exploration. Do not have expectations of a fully developed project upon departure. Got it!
I like the campus format of two artists per studio, while all the artists connect each day to support each other through dialogue, critique and social time.
I’m hoping the evening lectures in various disciplines (printmaking, ceramics etc), will offer exposure to material processes and conceptual ideas that may add to germination of new ideas in my own work.

Sketches like these happen at the end of a painting day when I give my subconscious free rein and allow a free-flow of ideas. Three elements of some new ideas I've been considering all surfaced in this one little drawing of the abstracted head. The other two images evolved from a similar process and go on to become part of paintings, or not. Sketching my ideas like this will help me plan for the independent studies program.

It’s rare to find an established painter of Harold Klunder's caliber who teaches, so I’m grateful to be a part of these studies. I’ve seen the huge impact he has on artists thought processes and therefore their work. If you'd like to read what it's like to work with him, I've written more here.

I'll write more on the MISSA experience later on this summer.


If you've never seen a gallery full of ‘Klunder paintings' you are in for an experience. Come and meet the man this summer at Winchester Galleries in Victoria. Watch for their exhibition dates, likely mid-June.

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