Week 4 was all about putting in the hours to complete the painting I had been commissioned to paint for The American Church in Paris. Most of my week was received working in the studio alone, exploring the wilderness within, as I hand stitched fragments from 3 paintings I created during my time here.
However, I was intentional about having hours I experienced outside of the studio to connect with people in the community, listen to live music at local cafes + buy fresh flowers. I also got to share a few good meals with new + old friends, dream + imagine. I made my way to the Picasso Museum to engage the work of Pablo Picasso. And, I was even interviewed on the ACP radio show about my work/time in Paris.
I'd love to promise myself that when I get home my days will mirror the rhythms of my days the past couple of weeks, but I'm not sure how the pace + work life balance I've embraced here will get to follow me back to Houston.
What I do know is something happened to me here-- both as an artist + a human.
I have one more week of my artistic sojourn in Europe, and will be making my way to Basel, Switzerland to explore a country I've never been to, see the exhibits of Sam Gilliam + Theaster Gates at Kuntsmuseum Basel, as well as get some rest + reflect before I board a plane at the end of the week bound for home.
I look forward to the photos I will create there, but for now here are some of the highlights from my time in Paris last week.
Week 3 was all about practicing presence, vulnerability + finally feeling a bit less like a "tourist."
I found myself on the metro more + navigating my way around without my Google Maps.
I had early studio mornings, diving fully into the creative process of birthing this new work, so that I could truly be present to evening walks, time around the table, enjoying the gift that is jazz + picnics along the Seine River with friends + so many others.
Paris makes me want to be a better artist in the studio, yes-- but more than that, I'm finding myself longing to create a healthier work/life rhythm when I get back to Houston. In a sense, Paris makes me want to be a better artist of my days as well.
Here are just a few of the moments of encountering beauty I allowed myself to savor this week.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places." -Roald Dahl
Here are glimpses of moments this week where I found a beauty in ordinary moments that slowed me down or inspired me as I walked to get from one place to another.
Moments at the museum + studio that moved me to silence, revealed new possibilities, challenged me to push beyond my own perceived limitations +/or settled me into a steady creative flow. Space + time to be just about the work is opening my craft up to me in new + invigorating ways.
And, moments that filled me with delight + wonder.
Thanks again for following my artistic sojourn in Paris.
You can read daily reflections, preview finished works from my Paris Collection (oil + cold wax paintings on arches paper), as well as glimpse my creative process +
the space I studio out here in Paris HERE.
Sunday, August 12 began my month long artistic sojourn to Paris, France, as the Visiting Artist at The American Church in Paris. They have invited me to visit for 4-weeks to create works exploring the theme, "When I was a Stranger" + to immerse myself in the art culture + history of Paris. I will create one piece that will become apart of their permanent collection. The other small abstracts I will exhibit at the end of my time here + make available for purchase.
It feels right to be back in the City of Light + home of some of the greatest art created. Paris is every inch as magical as I remember. There is a photo just waiting to be created on every storied corner. The pristine... the rugged... I'm drawn to it all, + have every intention of walking around as many corners I possibly can during my visit.
Every Sunday I will share a pictorial travel journal of the previous week; sharing moments that caused me to be still, moved me to silence, I was able to see because I was walking +/or gave me life.
It was one amazing week!
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
For the first time, I joined the summer faculty of the Grunewald Guild to teach an 1-week course titled "Visual Poetry: Mixed Media + Encaustic." The course was a process-oriented class where for 5 days 9 participants + I explored the wonders of encaustic + allowed some of our favorite poets to rouse our creative flow.
The Grunewald Guild is a special place. For over 30 years the Guild has made space for art, community + growth to happen. It was an honor to receive the invitation to join the staff + share in it's legacy-- which is is deep + wide.
As a city girl who has grown accustomed to steady movement, it was a challenge to embrace a slower pace. It took a couple of days to settle into the rhythm + creative flow. I was determined to lean in though, + not lean out. By Tuesday evening, my heart began to grieve our Saturday departure. The Guild had made its way into my heart.
I not only got my hand covered with warm wax + paper, but I also made my way to the Pottery Studio to throw on the potter's wheel for the first it in my life. I loved it! I loved the attention it required, physicality of the process, + the feeling of the clay between my hands.
One of the major highlights of the experience is that I got to share it with my partner, Cleve. It was a privilege to receive the gift of Grunewald Guild with him + even savor some moments in the beautiful emerald city- Seattle.
It was a week of steady exhales + long deep inhales.
It was week of getting lost in the creative process + fully living into my gifts of teaching.
It was also a week of rich connection that I look forward to experiencing again at the Guild + at other art tables I will teach at in the future.
Click HERE to learn more about the history + work of the Grunewald Guild.
The Guild will provide a list of their Summer 2019 courses later this year.
Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley