Before leaving Berlin for a holiday, I held the last Studio Interlude of this academic year. These began as an invitation for research colleagues to come into my studio during the working week, to take an hour away from text and keyboard, and to spend it with art.
Over the months, I've talked about my thinking and making processes. We've had a go at drawing, printing and painting. I have discovered that teaching painting is not only fun but lets us experiment with a range of creative strategies. We've experienced overcoming inhibitions to make large gestures with a paint brush; pushing through a problem; finding out by trying; adding contrasts; leaving empty space; creating negative space; taking risks.
For this last Interlude, I brought small shells from a Scottish beach. I showed some works of Scottish artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.
We looked very closely at the lines on a shell or stone, and used this looking as a starting point for painting on card.
At the end we put all the paintings in the corridor to make an impromptu, floor-level exhibition and gently critiqued the work. Then we applauded ourselves. Well deserved!