Nancy McKay Workshop Blog

Our 2015 Artist-in-Residence Nancy McKay shares her weekly thoughts and reflections on her blog.

Workshop details below.
Good Intentions Inspired by Michigan Legacy Art Park

NancyMcKaySaturday and Sunday afternoons, July 11 – August 2

Drop-in between 1 – 4 pm at the amphitheater within Michigan Legacy Art Park

Take a self-guided trail of beauty to discover your “good intentions”. Then join artist-in-residence, Nancy McKay, in fashioning prayer flags to fully visualize one of your intentions. The flags will be constructed out of woolen fiber from a local mill and naturally-dyed yarns. Flags will hang near Discovery Grove morphing into a collection of good will as participants’ contributions accumulate each week. During the rest of the summer and through Fall and Winter, the flags will degrade to form nesting materials for birds.

Program Schedule

Drop-in between 1 – 4 pm at the Amphitheater

July 11, Saturday – Journaling 1: Visual Artists’ Tools

July 12, Sunday – Journaling 2: Recording Experiences

July 18, Saturday – Meet a Tree and Who am I?

July 19, Sunday – Meditations on Pure Michigan

July 25, Saturday – Journaling 1: Visual Artists’ Tools

July 26, Sunday – Journaling 2: Recording Experiences

August 1, Saturday – Meet a Tree and Who am I?

August 2, Sunday – Meditations on Pure Michigan

Program Descriptions:

Journaling 1. Visual Artists’ Tools. After constructing your journal, learn how to use a view-finder for sketching. See how value and intensity scales can help add “zing” to the art you create from your drawings. Express personal connections to your subjects. Pack light as you practice your new skills on the trails at Michigan Legacy Art Park.

Journalng 2. Recording Experiences. Don’t be afraid to wonder when you wander. First, assemble a journal and then utilize the included prompts for writing in it. Practice distilling and personalizing your experiences on the trail by using humor (puns), symbols (doodles), and metaphor. Write better journal entries, poetry, postcards, and tweets. Enjoy the park as you practice crafting your entries.

Meditations on Pure Michigan. Tune-in by awakening the senses on a “Rainbow Trail of Beauty” through the park. Become aware of natural cycles and patterns. Learn how to focus on what is meaningful and significant to you. Form symbolic anchors to places. Use metaphor and your imagination to recall personal experience of the park through exercises that help you express your intentions.

Who am I? Take a self-guided tour of the park to consider examples of works of art that answer the question, “Who am I?” Use your imagination in exploring how place and personal story contribute to developing your sense of self. Craft an alter-ego. Develop graphic and symbolic representations of your personal “brand” through your intentions.

Meet a Tree. In this self-directed family activity learn to “See Green”. Play Green Bingo. Find a tree that “speaks to you” and look for clues that help identify it. Observe its shape and the formations of leaves and branches. Estimate how old it is. Find evidence of animals that live there, notice its neighbors, and learn about succession in forests. Think how we affect trees and they affect us by considering selected artwork in the park. What can we learn from trees that will help us improve ourselves?


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