Each week Cynthia Bydlinski takes us through what happens during an artistic expression program at the Friendship Centers. I love the way she ties together the arts, starting with a vocal warm-up. The interaction between Cynthia and her artists is remarkable and this review from last week's "workshop" can't help but make you smile.
This past week our circle of artists, Vivian, Patricia, Gloria, Patti, Lino, and the returning birthday boy, Louis, were inspired by twisting, tangling, swaying in the breeze vines. Our creative intention was:
To focus our attention on what is growing outside our windows during this season of growth and “what comes next”. To use our imaginations and to have fun as we paused to look at sprawling vines from the woods, garden, yard and wonder what surrounds and what may be attracted to them.
But, first, Joyce and I introduced, Swinging on a Star, a quirky, whimsical song with unexpected lyrics that can’t help but bring a smile to one’s face. Who wouldn’t want to carry moonbeams home in a jar? Then it was on to creating doodles, those quick, “in the moment" sketches, using markers and paper. Circles (the sun!), squares (the face of a clock!), triangles (a party hat!) and organic shapes (billowing clouds!) were the basis for our doodle-making. Encouraging our artists to try using their non-dominant hands, doodles can be a fun way of loosening up and enjoying the simple joy of putting our own marks on paper.
Then it was on to vines. Watching the vines in my own backyard as they grow, twist, tangle themselves onto tree branches and around trunks and sway lazily in the breeze, a visual art-making process was born. (So, don’t let anyone tell you daydreaming is a waste of time!) Strewn in the center of our table, vines from the yard were meant to inspire everyone in our creative circle to consider where these dangling plants could be growing, what flowers, fruits, vegetables they would be producing and even what in nature might be attracted to them.
Our artists used watercolor paints and paper as they tapped into their imaginations to determine and decide for themselves where these vines would thrive. This was an opportunity to create their own visual landscapes in a safe circle, free from critiques or judgments. Like all of our work, compositions could be realistic, abstract, fantastical.
Below, you’ll see a close-up of Patti’s composition with a delicate butterfly attracted to her flowering vine :
About Cynthia Bydlinski
Cynthia Bydlinski is a volunteer and helps as a creative arts leader. To find out how you can get more involved as a volunteer at the Friendship Centers, please contact Caroline Allen in Volunteer Development at the Friendship Centers in Sarasota. Getting involved as a volunteer is just a phone call away, 941.556.3249.