VISIONARY DRAWING: developing your personal iconography
February 17 - 21, 2011
Join BETSY WALTON in Portland, Oregon for a three day workshop and stay at THE JUPITER HOTEL. Students will use loosely structured drawing exercises to explore imagery that has personal significance to them, with an eye towards developing their own iconographic visual language. Betsy will share examples of her work and other work. She will also discuss what exercises have shaped her own creative practice. This workshop is limited to 10 people.
When Betsy first started out, she had a full blown case of self doubt and fear. The cure for her was (and still is) to draw her way out of it. She had to give herself a structure though. This cut the overwhelming big fears down to a manageable size, so she could get quiet and comfortable and start making marks.
"The first exercise I tried consisted of a series of 42 small drawings torn from one large sheet of paper. My aim was to get out as many ideas as possible. I hoped to see some patterns emerge. Not all of the drawings are successful, but I managed to touch them all, and it did ultimately help to shape the imagery that followed.
The second exercise was to draw daily during my commute. I tried not to form an agenda, other than being present for whatever ideas and fragments that came along during the hour.
The more I made art from this nonjudgmental place, the more inspired I became, and this formed the path I’m following now. It was like fishing - cast your line, wait (and by wait I mean draw) and eventually you’ll catch something."
Betsy will be adapting these exercises for the workshop with the intention that they help participants to illuminate their own resonant paths.
On the more technical side, she will show and discuss the importance of sensitive mark making, color, use of observational drawing, pattern, layers, form, space and color. Participants will also practice drawing from observation and from their imaginations. She uses both of these approaches in her own work.
She will be bringing books about symbolism, examples of artists who use these processes and some readings from other artists about the process of finding your voice.
BETSY WALTON studied printmaking in Wisconsin, and is now in Portland, Oregon. Her work is informed by a broad range of influences, including Byzantine iconography, American folk art, and geometric abstraction. She often explores the mysteries of nature and how people relate to it. She rarely sketches before diving into a painting in the belief that the image formed through the painting process itself will be rich, revealing and vital.