I still have this impression I have to wake up from a dream. I spent last week-end at a two-day workshop by Jesse Reno !
I discovered Jesse via Suzi Blu a while back (like a few years ago, maybe two or so). At first, i didn’t really like his art. Maybe because it brought to me things I didn’t want to feel, it seemed crazy and too crowded for me at this time. But the more I wanted to know about his work, the more I was blooming in my own artistic Universe, the more what he creates resonated in me.
Some of my Twitter friends were talking of the next Art & Soul that will happen in Portland in a few weeks, so I went on the website to see what it was and fell in love with two workshop; Jesse Reno’s was one of them. But it was already full (of course).
But it stayed in a corner of my mind, I don’t know why but a few days later I googled “jesse reno workshop 2011” just to see if he had workshop scheduled that will be closer geographically (I was actually thinking of Seattle that is the closer big US city from Vancouver); thinking that 2011 will allow me some time to get organize regarding my daughters, how to get there etc. What a surprise when I saw “Jesse Reno is coming back, September 25-26 2010, Vancouver Canada”. It was at the beginning of September. I knew the organizator by name (I heard lots of good things about them, the store RubyDog’s Art House. I know that being that close from the date, it will be sold out but just in case I decided to email them to ask. It happened that it WAS sold out, that there was a waitlist; I was the 4th in line. I thought it was dead for me this time. Leanne tells me to stay hopeful because Jesse was there last year and all the people on the waiting list did get a spot eventually ! Hoooorra.
Excitation, stress because english is not my mother tongue and when I speak it I always fear the people I’m talking to will not understand what I’m saying, stress because i don’t know anyone that will attend (it’s always easier to do something new when you have a reference point, fear that people would think my art sucks etc etc etc (yes, the Gremlins were pretty harsh on me !).
I bought some non-toxic paint, which I don’t like at all (luckily, the sweet lady by my side agreed to share hers; and the girls will be more than happy to have this paint to play with without me worrying they have some all over their body. I realized later that the Deserres brand in jars are all non-toxic, yipaaa), I bought two big pieces of 90lbs paper, and I’m ready to go !
On Saturday morning, I am kind of REALLY nervous (i apologize again to my husband and kids, I’m not funny when stressed out); and we had a hard time finding the place as Leanne mislead us with a wrong address. I was a little late but it was okay. People were setting the room up, protecting everything from the mess we’ll be making.
Jesse arrives and began by telling us his story, his background and how he ended up becoming a painter. Then, he did his first demo. The workshop was the perfect blend of live demos, fun exercises, active painting when we had to just go for it and experience, group critics, laughters….
I discovered amazing artists there. I am just in awe from all the different backgrounds we all come from: sculptor, collage artists, someone never painted before this workshop, confirmed artists, some where there just to have fun, someone was there despite the fact she HATES having her hands covered with paint. Isn’t this fantastic ? This is, in my opinion, what makes this kind of workshop rich.
After this 2-day workshop (2 days is perfect. And trust me: I discovered he’ll do a 5-day workshop in south america next december, if I had the $1600 I’ll join without thinking it !), Jesse’s art makes sense in my mind, it takes another turn. When watching at his artwork, I understand how it was made and it’s just like magic in front of my eyes. Like I had access to the backstage.
All my fellow Tribe ladies where in my thoughts: Jesse Reno is the living embodiement of painting BIG and FEARLESSLY, without any a priori regarding what the painting will look like when finished, without any anxiety of covering it up to make it even better. Enjoying the process. Having fun. That’s all that matters. It’s pushing me out of my comfort zone, without pushing me in my retrenchements either.
I had this kind of HUGE breakthrough while speaking about the workshop to my husband. I have a better view of what I want to do artistically speaking. I have to finish the paintings starting during the workshop and then play with what I learned, digest it a bit, and incorporate it in my own style. It’s like this workshop was what I needed to take the step further in my creativity.
And you know what ? Spending 7 hours with paint all over my hands, exploring my inner universe by putting it on wood/paper, is something I totally could do for the rest of my life 😉 I’m just uber frustrated because I don’t have the space to do so. But I may buy this big plastic protection, put it on the floor and just… go with the flow !
Here are some pictures (just click on each one to enlarge it):
Two local artists I met during the workshop (I wish I’d knew all the names and websites of everyone… please if you were there, let me a comment, give me your website/blog address so I can give you a shout out right there too !):
A little glimpse at the artist having fun: