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Free Expression Painting
The art of surrender

The Experience of Free Expression

I started teaching Free Expression Painting out of a dissatisfaction with what felt like an incomplete experience teaching an academic college curriculum. While teaching at various colleges I discovered that I wanted to tell the students so much more than what was deemed “appropriate” within the ironically stiff boundaries of those institutions. Often the entire core of what creativity ‘is’ was being ignored in favour of the dictates of the “formal” requirements of academic critique: the so called “rights and wrongs” of art-making.

Sometimes, rather than empowering people to create, it destroyed their freedom and crushed there motivation to express themselves in an authentic way. Authentic Creativity is an absolute necessity for human wellness. It has many modalities and there are many paths to choose from in terms of one’s own individual “expression” in the world. Free Expression Painting is simply one way of approaching one’s own unique creative voice and learning to trust the transformational power of the creative process. And the “process” of Free Expression Painting can be a very powerful tool for removing blocks to both an expanded professional art practice and beget a more fulfilling creative life in general. I teach what I know from my own experience.

We are not whole unless we understand our lives as a creative expression in and of itself. EVERYONE without exception is a creative being. I have never met, nor will I ever meet anyone who is not fundamentally creative at their centre. No matter how much fear and repression people experience, anyone can touch that voice of necessity inside themselves and paint with joy and freedom.

What happens in a Free Expression Painting Workshop?

We gather on the first evening for some initial information about the process, introduce ourselves to each other and chat a little about why we are all there – breaking down tension and meeting new friends. Each day we meet in the morning to share and laugh a little, and gather information to help break down blocks, dissolve fear and move us into our creative core. Using an introductory exercise on the first day, as a “bridge” to Free Expression Painting, we paint for awhile, break for tea, paint some more and wander off for lunch and a rest for an hour or so. Coming back in the afternoon we meet again to share our morning experience, if we choose, and then move gently back into painting – usually accompanied by some contemplative music.

Journaling and various other writing techniques come into play along with visualization for opening to the creative self. Students interact with the teacher one on one, but there is no critique or analysis of the work within the class. Your paintings are for you. No one is allowed to comment on anyone else’s work. My chief goal is to create a safe place for everyone to explore the immense joy of finding a space of trust in the power of their creative core. This happens by allowing and accepting whatever images come up within the process.

Free Expression Painting is a means of touching the thing that many people feel is missing in there lives – an authentic means of expressing the images and stories that we all have inside. Each of us has a unique vision of the world. The greatest and most masterful painters were those who had the need and the courage to express their original vision, even if it stood outside the acceptable norms of the time. “Different” is often later understood as genius. “The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, life-long construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”

Please register early.

Classes are held all over Vancouver, the Interior, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Please enquire about “Community Liaison” positions if you can organize a group of 8 or more in a suitable space. Community Liaisons help me organize a class in their community and receive a 50% discount on the class fee. Please contact me for details.

Phone 250-335-1910 during the day or -3137 in the evening to register or for more information.