Introduction – The following descriptions of workshops come from my brochure, Drawing and Color—A Language of the Natural Self. These workshops provide a supportive structure to intensify and deepen personal expression. 1. The basic process: Sensory Awareness, Color and Drawing. 2. Expressive Drawing: Representing the Visible World. 3. Expressive Color: Intuition and Theory. 4. Self Guidance in Drawing and Color.


1. The Basic Process: Sensory Awareness, Color and Drawing

Drawing and color have long been a language of feeling—a means of intuitive response. To explore this language we will work with a process of drawing and choosing colors, based on the meditation practice of Sensory Awareness that allows our natural self to be expressed directly, with a minimum of thinking, or judgment. Line, shape and color, basic elements of art, can reveal our own elemental nature: our ever -changing kinesthetic awareness, unique rhythms and characteristic forms. This process of abstraction and self-discovery can form the basis for personal style in any medium. This is centering, integrative work, appropriate for any level of drawing experience. It is applicable in the therapeutic and teaching professions, as well as the artistic.

Materials: oil or regular pastels and bond paper, or rough newsprint, 18x 24. Colored paper optional.


Ariel Kent, charcoal series showing a natural progression from abstract sensing drawing to representation.


2. Expressive Drawing: Representing the world

Drawing can provide a vital connection between the inner self and the forms we see in the world. This workshop will present approaches to drawing the figure and nature that strengthen expressive power. These approaches coordinate the perceptions of movement, touching, weight and space with the sense of seeing. This exploration provides a foundation for authentic representation in drawing and painting. Experiments in perception are parallel to exercises of Nicolaides, (The Natural Way to Draw) and provide a structure for discovery, challenging old habits as well as reinforcing natural abilities. Drawings and paintings will be shown that illustrate the different approaches, putting them in historical contexts. We will work from a variety of subjects, including the figure, still life, and landscape.

Materials: soft pencil, charcoal, conte crayon, a lot of inexpensive paper, 18x 24m plus other media of choice.


3. Expressive Color: Intuition and Theory

Although each person has an unerring sense of intuitive color expression, it is not always realized in painting. To gain a fuller, more consistent use of color, it can be helpful to understand certain objective principles. The color theories of Johannes Itten, an originator of the Bauhaus, provide a structure in which to experience different expressive modes used by artists. These modes, or color contrasts, are based on the four elements. These contrasts provide access to powerful experiences, and expand the range of what is possible. The work of different artists, past and present, will illustrate the theories, placing then in historical contexts. We work mainly with small studies, focusing on the interaction of colors and the expressive effect they create. This work can be applied to any medium, but it is especially useful for painters in developing expressive poser and personal style.

Media: Any media of choice. Water-base paints, oil and chalk pastels are recommended for the smaller studies. The full list of colors, brushes and paper is given on registration.


Leila Joslyn, colored paper choices, (left to right) Air, Earth, Fire and Water.


4. Self-Guidance in Drawing and Color

This workshop is a specialized development of the basic drawing and color process just described, which emphasizes self-exploration and personal integration. This process can unlock forces of a deep subconscious nature, revealing clear messages from the intuitive self. To understand these messages in relation to particular life questions, we will work with a unique method of focusing on decisions, issues of healing or dreams. This method can be especially useful for those in the helping professions who would like to utilize the richness and transformative power of art in their work and lives. Artists can deepen their understanding of the inner, symbolic language of line, shape and color.

Materials: oil or regular pastels and bond paper, 18x 24. Colored paper optional


Connie Smith Siegel, healing series.

Ariel Kent, charcoal series showing a natural progression from abstract sensing drawing to representation.