Expedition #3- Writing & Visual Art: One Wild and Precious Life

Words & Photos from Ariel K. and Amalia M.

Our last Expedition day was perhaps our best yet! In the morning we boarded the bus to head to the home of our art teacher, Michelle. We started the morning by making drawings of a bouquet, which we sectioned off by looking through viewfinders, on tracing paper with sharpies. We then compiled the drawings to create the image that we wanted to paint, however in order to create an abstracted image we were told to copy the image using charcoal and our non-dominant hands. We then put down red and green undercolour as a base, and while that dried, created the colour pallet we would use for our painting by mixing different combinations of yellow ocher, blue, magenta, brown, white and buff. After that, we began to paint!

I really can’t generalize what happened after that, because everybody took the project in such different directions. One of the reasons I consider this to have been our best day yet is that everybody had begun to settle into their abstract styles, and was confident enough to take their piece where they wanted it to go. What I can tell you is that each piece turned out unique and beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what the next day brings.

After waving goodbye to Michelle we headed back to school, already looking forward to our next gathering in March. Our cohort then took a 45 minute lunch break before meeting again in the Harvey/Symons common room for the next part of our program - the creative writing portion. As we sat comfortably in a circle, Ms MacDonald assigned us three prompts, and we were given about 5 minutes to free-write for each one. It was a relaxing activity that allowed us to express ourselves without pressure - a great warmup to get our creativity and thought processes running once more!

We then proceeded to carry out an activity that we were familiar with, which involved us all laying our paintings from the morning out onto the table, along with a paper bag next to each one. Everyone went around the table, jotting down thoughts and perceptions of every painting on little slips of paper before dropping them into the respective paper bags. By the time we had the opportunity to open our own paper bags, we felt the same satisfaction of reading all the creative comments that everyone popped in - a feeling that we analogized to “opening christmas presents”. Using phrases and ideas from the comments that allowed us to view even our own work in a different light, we were then able to each construct a piece of writing about our paintings before we gathered around to share.

To wrap up the day, everyone chose parts of their writing to share from both the warm-up activity and the writing based on their painting. It was especially beautiful to hear the unique interpretations for each piece of artwork, and we all shared the enjoyment of being able to appreciate the artistic style of every individual.