Here is where I can explore the "personal" side of Learn to Enamel. In classes, I often ask students to talk about their "burning questions". What is driving them? Why are they making art? How are their questions being manifested through their art? And what are they doing as they "learn to enamel" which will translate from their questions to their artistic vision? These are some pretty heavy questions, and many (myself included) often either forget to ask ourselves these questions or are still trying to answer questions they were asking long ago even though their lives have changed.
One theme in my life (like the theme song in a James Bond movie) is my fascination with "color, layers, and light". As I reflect (catch the pun?) on my life and WHY I'm so obsessed with this, I always go back in time to some of the happiest times in my life. From the age of 10 through 15, for six summers, I spent 8 weeks at a YMCA boys camp (Camp Mohican) on Lake George in the Adirondacks of upper New York state. It was incredibly rustic. We spent most of our time outside: climbing mountains and paddling canoes over lakes and rivers. Since the camp grounds was undeveloped (except for the few wooden cabins and activity buildings) located on the beautiful waterfront of Lake George, daily camp life was outdoors "in the wild". Even our Sunday "religious service" required campers to hike through the woods and sit on the wooden logs arranged to form an outdoor chapel!
I was surrounded by "color, layers, and light" 24/7 for those eight week summer sessions. I saw the colors of the sunsets, the fish in the lake, and small orange mushrooms on our wilderness hikes. I saw layers as I stood on the tops of the High Peak mountains after a challenging climb, and the light breaking through the tree branches as we hiked on trails before reaching treeline. I saw the depth of the crystal clear water of Lake George as we paddled long 10 hour days to reach the many islands where we would make camp for the night. And at night as we slept without tents, I stared at the thousands of stars in the sky. It was a child's playground of color, layers, and light!
Our view from camp south on Lake George
jOn the top of a mountain after climbing through a rainstorm. I'm front row on the left with the hoodie!
Hanging out at the boating area. That's me holding the line.
It was an amazing time in my life. The boy in the boat with the long-sleeved shirt (Jimmy G) and I just had a 50 year reunion with our favorite counselor, Tex, last month during a trip to Amherst, MA. Jimmy and I are planning another reunion on Lake George in the Fall and I'll post new picks of the "color, layers, and light" of Lake George. If you've never been, it's an amazing part of the country. Georgia O'Keefe found inspiration there for some of her paintings. Guess I'm in good company.