Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MOOD Laura White

Laura White is an artist and teacher in Frederick MD 2 hours from Washington D.C. her website is and you can see images of her work there.  She describes her work space not only as the heart of her home, but also as a place for physical movement of the body.  

I am an artist and art teacher who attended Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. I joined a cult directly after graduation, and my recovery process has prompted me to delve into questions about spirit, how we learn, the mind, social messages and compassion. My images are educational, self redemptive and strive to bring insight about human vulnerability and strength. (Did I just write that?)
I work in several mediums and disciplines. The general theme is mindfulness, but each series looks at mindfulness in a different way, whether emotional, spiritual, intellectual, kinesthetic, etc. I am just now beginning to codify this process for myself and documenting my process on a new blog called Multilaura on Blogspot. http:////  Emily, be the first to subscribe! I am learning about polymathy- the process of using one discipline to learn more deeply about a completely different discipline. And considering if I might have a touch of synesthesia. 

What’s your work space like? I am sad that I just moved out of my beloved studio, and happy that I am now working in my home. My apartment is in the upper level of a historic Victorian house, with lovely wood carved trim and roof eaves. My new studio takes stage in my living room, the heart of my home. There's a very large easel near the sliding door to the deck that lets in Southern exposure sun. While the space is quite a bit smaller than my former space, the difference in storage has prompted me to eliminate materials that I never use, and focus on what I do. In the corner of the room is my indigo work table, where my geisha muse doll from Japan overlooks my work. I have an open floor for choreographing movement for performances or for isolating expressive poses for 2D work.

Do you ever create outside of your studio? If so, please tell us about your traveling set up. My boyfriend also has a studio, where I have one very large painting in progress. Sometimes I plan creative excursions to "feed" my studio time and keep the experimental energy going. For example, I like to do rubbings of iron work in the city I live in, or take pictures of things in a predetermined theme like, texture, or city/nature. 

When is the best time for you to create? Part of my codifying research is to determine when is the best time to do what. In the morning while I'm still groggy, writing is best. That usually primes me for being active at the gym, tai chi practice or choreography. I have different creative outlets all day which I have to protect from the demands of chores and daily maintenances- but beyond morning hours, I don't know exactly what incites the creative processes I have.

Are there any special conditions you enjoy or even require? Great question!! I definitely need a tidy environment so that my state of mind and focus are unfettered. Sometimes this means using a music selection to enhance my focus or having silence. I've developed a bad habit of streaming Netflix in the background for company, which doesn't support the flow very well.  

What feelings do you hope to evoke from your audience with your art? Is there anything about your work space that helps you channel those energies? How do you know when you've made your message clear or if people “got it”? I give myself full permission to "go for the jugular" in my art. I'm not afraid to reflect on what is For the past two decades I've put a lot of care into how the message is communicated- much the same way as a graphic designer does. What will this material/line quality/color/movement/light/sound evoke? What happens when I juxtapose this with that? I've been able to understand my palette of choices and reach for the element that will bring about the message I'm conveying. As for channeling energies, I'm beginning to realize that deep attention to each creative decision I make- especially the quiet spontaneous decisions- will help me create a "map" and feel more in control. At this time, I feel I'm at the whim of spontaneous energies, rather than intentionally building my day so that specific creative modalities can have their turn. 

Is there anything else you want to say about how you work or what you do, or any aspect of this topic? These questions are very helpful in beginning the self understanding and codifying I've decided to embark on. As an art teacher, these are the questions I keep in mind when evoking an inspiring learning environment. I'll definitely continue reflecting on these questions and will likely write about them in my blog.

Emily, I think this project you've got is about far more than marketing or sharing process with non artists. When I first read your proposal to ABLO, I thought, "great, now my parents will have a chance to understand what I do!" But there's more in the periphery, the topic of creativity and all the ways creativity can be defined is very relevant now in education, industry and psychology. (Slow Learning proponents, Daniel Pink, Mihalyi Cziksentmihalyi... some of my heros) . I've been thinking of going back for my master's degree in Art Education with a focus on defining creativity and it's processes. I'm taking great encouragement from your project, and I love how the intention of marketing and sharing dovetails with self understanding and exploring the vast terrain of creativity. I look forward to the results you gather and offer assistance if you need help growing this. 

Can you say more about how the idea came to you?

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