Listening in the Gaps: Writing Workshop
Open to non-writers and writers [adults] Thursdays, 10:00 am – noonBegins January 9 (8 weeks)
Chapelwood UMC, room tba
Group size max 12
Text: Writing down the bones [Natalie Goldberg]
“There’s a gap between who we think we are and who we really are. In writing, there’s a gap between what we think we wrote and what we actually write. Practice closes the gap.” Natalie Goldberg
Writing is a deep act of vulnerability giving us access to listen into the gaps of our armor, of our lived experiences, and God’s* quiet movements. It is an intentional, particular, inner act. It can make us laugh, cry, blush, remember. It can open us to our anger, grief, joy and forgiveness. It is a way of waking up, a step into prayer. In this workshop we will create a guided nonjudgmental space to write, write, write—keeping our hand moving, not worrying about crossing out, spelling, punctuation, or grammar. We will follow the writing where it takes us, trusting God to enter the page with us.
“I reach writing through an act of waiting and listening; I make false starts; I get in my own way; I try again. Putting words onto paper—when it is done as an honest act of search or connection, rather than an act of manipulation, performance, self-aggrandizement or self-protection—is a holy act.” Pat Schneider
Weekly various prompts will be provided to open us into this writing practice both for warm ups and longer writings. As Jerry Webber encourages, we will “chase the image.” Writing through metaphor, memory, hope, and sensory experience, each in our own way, finding our own voice, our own pace. There will be opportunities for short nonjudgmental sharing [optional] of what we are finding in our own writing—surprises, hurts, healings, and chuckles that arise in word, phrase or story. During the week we will read excerpts from Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing down the bones, as well as, explore journal writing through free writes [to be explained], development of a word, phrase or idea that emerged during the workshop, and note God’s movement in our practice. We will experiment with various avenues of writing—prose, fiction and non, poetry, journaling, and letter writing. We will explore this practice in a safe community.
What you will need: a fast pen, a cheap notebook [iPad sized or larger], the book Writing down the bones [Natalie Goldberg], courage to approach the small truths of your lived experiences, openness to put your inner critic on hold, willingness to show up pushing pen to page.
“Why don’t you making writing your practice [a practice of meditation, of prayer], it will take you everyplace.” Natalie Goldberg
*God – I use this word, this name, to approach certain mysteries, you may approach differently — whether higher power, mystery, another name, blind luck, or a good pair of bootstraps on which to pull, come as you are and come as you belief.
The Artist Way Workshop
All levels [adults] Wednesdays, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Begins January 8 (10 weeks)
Chapelwood UMC, room LC 204
Group size max 9
Text: The Artist Way [Julia Cameron]
In this workshop, we will function as a creative cluster in which to begin stepping past the internal and external habits that have kept our creative impulse on the back burner. Joining this cluster will be to fulfill a yearning to bring our creative impulse to the front burner. Reading and test running the exercises from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist Way, we will excavate habits and thinking that may have kept us blocked and cultivate ones that support our impulse to create, to express. You will be challenged to explore methods from the text each week—writing morning artist pages, an artist date, and other exercises. This course is based on the premise that each of us is by nature creative and that in a supportive community we can more easily begin moving from the fantasy of doing to actually doing. Whether your urge has been to write, paint, build, sculpt, cook, arrange, or plant, this group is for you and is genre independent.
Facilitator: Kathy Kelley is a professional practicing visual artist, writer and has been a Professor of Art in an interdisciplinary art foundations program. She has had numerous solo exhibitions throughout Texas, participated in artist residencies nationally, and is the founding president of the nonprofit BOX 13 ArtSpace. She holds her MFA from UH. She has a passion for the creative process, the connection and parallels between the creative process and spirituality, and life patterns of artists that exercise their creative practice throughout their life span. Kathy formerly worked at Chapelwood in both the youth and communication ministries.
Registration: register by January 3, 2014 with Kathy Kelley via email kk.creativehabit @ gmail.com
You may register for either Listening in the Gaps: Writing Workshop or The Artist Way Workshop. Due to limited space, please do not sign up for both. Register ASAP, people registering after the workshops fill will be added to a wait list.
Houston, TX 77024
PAST –Fall 2013
In this course, we will form a creative cluster in which to begin stepping past the internal and external habits that have kept our creative impulse on the back burner. Joining this cluster will be to fulfill a yearning to bring our creative impulse to the front burner. We will read and use techniques and exercises from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist Way, to excavate habits and thinking that may have kept us blocked and cultivate new ones that support our impulse to create, to express. We will move from thinking about our own creative impulse to begin acting upon it. You will be challenged to test run weekly methods from the text — artist pages, an artist date, and other exercises. This course is based on the premise that each of us is creative by nature and that in a supportive community we can more easily begin moving from thinking about to actually doing. Whether your urge has been to write, paint, build, sculpt, cook, arrange, or plant, this group is for you and is genre independent.
Deep listening, connecting and making actually requires a high degree of risk taking, openness to critical feedback and dialog, as well as, exposure to failure. This artistic risky behavior, openness, and exposure are cultivated through a series of communal and curricular factors.
Beginning in the very first studio, it is critical to build in forms of interaction that emotionally tether the students to one another and to their sense of belonging within the program. A resiliency that allows the studio experience of experimentation, tight timelines, heavy workloads and critical dialogue to be pushed further than when students’ function as isolated agents is foster by the development of strong studio peer attachments. Attachments are initially accelerated when classroom norms are disrupted through a series of non-graded tasks that bring the students into opinionated mini monologues about the arts, extremely close physical proximity via a small team task, team performance of task, and laughter, followed with a larger group critical dialogue exploring the discrepancies between team intent and viewer perception. These forms of connections, teams, tasks, and dialogues set the stage to implement an intense curriculum and work practice that peaks curiosity, promotes artistic risk taking, critical dialogue, and physical engagement.
Built into the scope and sequence of the curriculum are the practices of successful artistic deep listening, connecting and making—research, idea development, capacity to harvest from personal passions, critical reflection and discourse, collaborative unpacking of discrepancies between intent and outcome, deconstruction and adaption of working processes, work ethic, time management, opportunities for multiple iterations of a single concept or materiality, attention to craftsmanship, and professional presentation of work. Traditional attention to design elements and principles and craft are attended to but in ways that supports and emphasizes the habits of perceptiveness and process.
These deep listening, connecting, and making habits are not only the key to successful art careers but they are highly portable and will transfer to other potential job/life activities that the artist may embrace to support their artistic practice.
- Teaching Curriculum [project sheets, crit guides, etc] Portfolio
- Teaching Student [eye candy] Portfolio
- Current Courses [blog]