Artist Pablo Picasso is quoted often as saying, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." It's so true. Ask any child if he or a she is an artist, and more often than not they boldly proclaim, "YES!" without a second of hesitation.
At the end of 2016 when Holy Family HTX commissioned me to create 9 liturgical year 6' x 6' paintings, I began research and planning for the work. One of the many things I wrote included, "For the Christmas painting, invite a child to join you in the process--the theme demands it."
So come early fall, I honored this inner nudging and waited for a child before starting the piece.
That's where one of my young friends comes in! He joined his mother during a private workshop I hosted in the studio and was absolutely taken . . . When I told him that one canvas was especially for Christmas, I saw starlight twinkle in his eyes. That's when I knew it was time to begin this painting. So I handed him a brush, and his art became the first to mark the canvas.
"Ok, buddy, I want you to paint the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Christmas and Jesus coming into the world." I said.
He joyfully painted a heart and wrote his name next to it. I couldn't wait to join him and be inspired by his work. I knew then it was the right decision to co-create this painting with him and other little artist friends. Over the process of a couple of months, I invited two other children to add their painting, drawings and general artistry upon the canvas and join me in the process.
Here are my takeaways for our time together co-creating this piece:
1. Do not fear. Take risks, be vulnerable and true to yourself. Trust your first response to the materials before you and the space you have to work with. Remember there are really no mistakes in art.
2. Have FUN, don't overthink the process. It's ok to loose control.
3. The way the children moved the brush and marked the canvas inspired me to move differently, as well. A few of their brush strokes seem to have found their way into my making vocabulary. While working on my current painting for Epiphany, I notice myself using some of the some of the brushstrokes and mark making techniques the child artists intuitively did with freedom, confidence and ease,
I'm grateful for the markings, letters, brushstrokes, and joyful creative energy of Cobe, Owen and Hazel who all confidently added to the work throughout different stages of the process. I have a feeling that will not be my last collaborative painting with little artist hands.
"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children."
Written by Lanecia Rouse Tinsley.
Edited by Ciona Rouse.
Photographs by Lanecia Rouse Tinsley + Brittney H.
(The background image is of a Wabi Sabi inspired painting in my “Beautiful Struggle” collection featured at The Journey Contemporary Workshop of MDUMC.)
In early September my studio was flooded by the waters of Hurricane Harvey. Hardy + Nance Studios, where my studio is located, took in over a foot of water throughout the entire building. My personal studio took in approximately 16 inches. And I knew from the moment I walked through the door after the waters had gone down, I would not be able to make it through the recovery alone.
Thanks to my phenomenal sister, Houston's Jerry's Artarama, the art community, the community of Holy Family HTX + numerous of other family, friends + strangers I was not alone in the recovery effort. Your gifts of encouragement, time, financial resources + support truly made a difference.
Thank YOU a 1,000 times to everyone who has supported me during the recovery + every step of my LAR Art Studio work! You have been an essential part of the golden joinery that has helped me live into this particular new normal with courage, hope + determination.
Hurricane Harvey came in strong through TX, + I discovered the days following that collectively our strength can be stronger than any storm.
Below are photos of the what the flood waters left behind + now.
After the Storm
I lost all of my art books, half of my studio furniture, a few supplies, old+ new paintings + canvases that were waiting for me to make my marks..
After Your Generosity + Encouragement
As I reimagined + recreated the space I kept these questions before me:
1. What would give me the most joy + life?
2. How do I make sure the space is both functional for my own studio practice + hosting others at the table without much rearranging?
3. What do I really need to do my work + what can I do without?
4. How do I shape the space to best display my art for others to engage?
5. How do I make sure I soak up as much of the natural light as possible while I'm working.
Below are a few images of me living into the answers. To see more of the studio join me at the 25th Annual Art Crawl! I would love to host you in the space + share my latests works on November 18 (10am-10pm) + November 19 (12pm-5pm).
On any given day you drop by my studio you will find me in a zone either creating in 1 of 4 ways:
1. With music blasting through the Bose speaker,
2. Headphones on, lost in my own world of sound + emotion,
3. Vinyl spinning on my record player offering me soft sounds that make me nostalgic about days growing up with parents who appreciated a good 45 or album and made sure we did too, OR
4. in complete silence which fuels me in a way no song possibly could.
Music is for sure an important part of my process + each month usually has its own gems that fuel my creativity-- always has. So I decided to start sharing my studio playlist at the end of the month to invite you into my process + maybe even shed a little light upon the work that I've most recently made.
I'm a little late on the September playlist, but hey-- better late than never I say.
Element., Kendrick Lamar
DNA., Kendrick Lamar
Something Just Like This, The Chainsmokers
Settling Into the Space
Don't Let Me Down, Joy Williams
Saturn, Sleeping At Last
Prepping the Work
Closer (feat. Halsey), The Chainsmokers
I'll Find You (feat. Tori Kelly, Lecrae
About to Get Into the Zone
Double Heart, Penny & Sparrow
All things Coldplay really
Mask Off (Remix), Future featuring Kendrick Lamar
All things Coldplay really
Spiraling Out to See Where to Go Next + Last Hour
A Set at the Table, Solange
You Are Enough, Sleeping At Last
After having to cancel my August workshop due to Hurricane Harvey + one blur of a September, it felt so good to begin my weekend back with my studio practice groove +of co-hosting workshops with Holy Family HTX. Friday we co-hosted an evening of art making + honoring our intuition at the art table, in one of the most beautiful spaces in East Downtown, HTX.
Seriously, when I dream of a space besides Studio D for both my own art making + hosting others at the table, this downtown industrial space gem with all its natural light + brick walls (a nice mix of white + exposed brick) is it. The space just bids you, come + create. Then you add the creative energy + flow of the artists that joined me at the table--
It was magical.
It was beautiful.
It was sacred.
As one of my volunteers posted following the workshop, without fail, dope things always happen when friends + strangers gather around a few table + create together.
Here are a few glimpses of our time together at the table leaning into the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi as we made visible the invisible + pushed ourselves to focus process than what we envision the art should look like at the end.
It was an excercise of both freeing + challenging yourself to be totally absorbed in the creative process, that you give little to know thought to what the painting will become + give more attention to how it is becoming. It is a process of holding loosely all parts, letting go + trusting your intuition.
Every month Holy Family HTX + I co-host a workshop for people to gather around the able + tap into their creativity together. Our next one will be Saturday, October 28 (6-8pm) at Hardy + Nance Street Studios. So excited + grateful that the studio will be fully recovered in a couple of weeks + ready to host! You can register today to reserve your seat.
Click HERE to register for the October workshop + to find out the date + times of our November + December workshop offerings.
***Special thanks to Holy Family HTX + The Studio HTX for helping to make a space possible for this experience while my studio is in recovery.***
Photography by Ellen Cline, Zach McKenzie + Lanecia Rouse Tinsley
"Harvey, you're one son of a gun. Feeling powerless with y'all in this storm. Gratefully anticipating powerfulness together in recovery and community."
- Hannah Terry, FAM Houston
The sun has come + the rains have finally stopped, and my head is a bit clearer now on ways I can share for people to join the Harvey Relief efforts of local HTX organizations.
Below are a couple of efforts from local small organizations that have loved the people of Houston well before Harvey came + will be doing so love after the storms departure. I know your money will make a significant impact in the lives of the people they serve. These are organizations that operate with integrity that I trust, support, respect +/or am in partnership with.
If you have questions about the opportunities below or other ways you can support, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Thank you for caring, supporting + joining in the efforts to support thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by the storm waters of Harvey. Together I do believe we all will make a difference. This story has many more lines yet to be written. Let's make them beautiful! 💛
Jerry's Artarama is my art store + very much apart of my work. They are apart of my community + support local HTX artists on the regular.
Here's a to help artists recover once they have their spaces repaired + they are ready to work! 💛
BLMHTX Harvey Relief Efforts Statement:
"As the magnitude of Harvey’s devastation to our city becomes clearer, we know that folks from near and far are looking for ways to aid and assist. BLMHTX, in coalition with other Houston-area grassroots organizations, has established the BLMHTX Harvey Relief Effort to provide both donated items and monetary support to those impacted. We are intentional about conducting this effort with integrity and accountability to our community. Thus, 100% of donations received will be distributed to the most vulnerable communities in the city and surrounding areas. Donations are tax deductible and a record of accounting will be provided to all who donate. The immediate devastation to the city of Houston is traumatic and overwhelming. But we know that when the rain ends and the flood recedes, our real work together begins. Join us on the long road ahead to restoring our communities." #BLMHTXHarveyRelief
Give Online: http://bit.ly/BLMHTXHARVEY through their community partner Project Curate's website (In the note line put "BLMHTX Harvey Relief Efforts"
- The Duck Off Sports Bar - 2727 Murworth, Houston, TX 77054 - Friday, September 1 from 11:00am - 4:00pm, Rhys Caraway will be accepting donations.
**More locations will be added!!
Message from a friend who is a Member of the Yellowstone Academy Team:
Many of you have been asking how you can assist Houston. Here's my answer:
My favorite school, Yellowstone Academy, is waiving tuition for any family that needs it after Harvey. This will create a shortfall in our budget - one that we're hoping our community can come together to make up. I hope you will consider putting your dollars to good use and that you will stand with Yellowstone.
We're still putting our heads together to figure out how we can support our families in other ways - but this seemed like an easy decision. Our parents don't need to worry about whether or not their kid can continue coming to Yellowstone on top of all their other concerns right now. Our students are welcome - when we resume classes on Tuesday, we'll make sure they are warm, safe, dry, and full of good food while their parents work on everything Harvey did to their homes.
Teachers, learners + families need our support in the coming weeks after Hurricane Harvey.
Consider adopting a classroom in need.
Area teachers + you will be connected via email requesting supplies, snacks, books, etc.
I will facilitate delivery and/or needs. 100% of your donations will go the classroom in need with no middle man or fee. Share this google doc and signup.
Contact: Britteny Hawthrone of Listening + Learning, Click HERE to email her.
I've been following the relief efforts of Galveston Central UMC, led by Michael Gienger, since the storm begin. They have opened their doors to people who had to evacuate their homes in Galveston + now are moving around Galveston helping people recover.
Galveston is one of my favorite Texas cities + this church has taken up special space in my heart by the way they love the city, love each other + truly embrace the dignity of all persons. They have embraced the arts + creativity in ways that increases our capacity to hope, imagine + see.
Consider donating to their work. They will be in it for the long haul for sure! https://galvestoncentralchurch.churchcenteronline.com/giving
Many have asked how they can support + help me recover from the damage that the flood waters left behind. My sister has created a way to share my needs + ways you can support.
I'm truly whelmed by all of the love + gracious offerings of support extended my way over the past few days. 💛 The studio has been cleaned out + once the wall work is complete I will begin the process of re-creating the space so I can get back to work.
I'm looking forward to that day.
Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley