Hello all! As summer comes to a close, I wanted to share how running has influenced my creative process, the fun times I've been having with my summer intern and what is coming up.
On the immediate horizon, I am soon to be off and "running" to teach four Encaustic Collagraph Printmaking workshops in three cities. Space has come available in all three workshops and you can sign up for one at the links below.
Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, NYC
I am looking forward to meeting and working with my students! So honored also, to be staying again in the Helen Frankenthaler Cottage at Center for Contemporary Printmaking along with the artist's presses donated to CCP's residency program. I will start chapter 52 of my life on the home turf in New York before heading home to Portland!
Running Boosts Creativity
I have been running on and off since my mid-20s. It has always been the best way for me to reach a certain flow or stream of consciousness that zaps stress and cultivates my creative mind. In fact, I got the idea to write this post while running! It has been a habit of mine for so long, that it didn't occur to me to write about running and how much a part of my creative life it is. Running truly does boost creativity, adds years to your life, strengthens your lungs, prevents high blood pressure, helps you sleep better, increases bone density, cures depression, prevents cancer and strengthens the immune system among a host of other benefits. Here is a great article from the Guardian on how running aids in the creative process.
One of my favorite runs was the loop in Cambridge, MA along and over the Charles River. It was described in the book I was reading at the time What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by author Haruki Murakami. In the book, Murakami talks about how running creates "mindspace" .."where creative ideas crystallize and incubate". This is so true and the book really resonated with me. There have been countless times that I have gotten conceptual ideas for entire bodies of work as well as make decisions, title paintings, prepare for openings, presentations and problem solve while running.
"Wherever you go, there you can run, meditate and practice yoga"
Since I'm going to be away for 18 days, I decided to plan on running while I'm away and look forward to the routes I will find. Running in a new place has always been a good way to familiarize myself with where I am. Plus it's super easy to pack for and a fun way when traveling alone to sight see and get to know my way around a place.
I don't do marathons or anything like that. Mine is a "training" program designed for optimal creative head space, to aid with depression and stress reduction. My combined practices of yoga, running and meditation can be done just about anywhere now more than ever, especially with the added convenience of certain apps. All aid in, and are vital to my art practice.
Past memorable running spots
Must sees while in D.C.
I am looking forward to exploring the galleries of Georgetown on my days off while in the D.C. area. There are also two exhibits in particular that I must see that I think will be huge sources of inspiration. One is Trevor Paglen's mid-career survey at the Smithsonian American Art Museum titled, Sites Unseen.
There is SO much to do and see in D.C. and my time is limited. I am hoping to also make it to the new National Museum of African American History as well as the National Portrait Gallery. We'll see how far I get!
I have so enjoyed having a high school intern this Summer from Portland's Grant High School through the Education Programming at Portland Open Studios. Sophie has been helping me with various projects in preparation for the Open Studios event coming in October. She is also producing a series of linocut reduction prints, some of which she will have on display on a section of my studio wall at my Portland Open Studio.
This week, Sophie applied her third layer of color. I will never get tired of seeing her beaming face after pulling a print! I have enjoyed teaching her about different aspects of printmaking and the many phases of production involved in art making from inception to creation, presentation, framing, photography, promotion and installation.
Upon my Return
I will be welcoming the public into my studio. Portland Open Studios, now in it's 20th year, is October 13, 14, 20 & 21. I hope that if you are local to Portland, you can drop by. I will be demonstrating printmaking and encaustic painting and selling individual and sets of greeting cards.
Sophie is busy right now cutting and assembling collage sets. A popular Etsy item, the collage sets will be comprised of 7 assorted pieces of my collagraph prints that didn't make good prints but something a collage artist would be happy to buy and make good use of.
Thanks for reading my blog. Stay tuned for the next post on WaxingOn, I will tell the story of the making of a recent commission for an airline captain in North Carolina who is writing a book about exploration.