This year’s Arts Academy discovery

One of the most beautiful sides of Canajoharie Arts Academy is the discovery of the living gems. We get to spend time with them, learn with them, eat with them, laugh with them, meditate with them. Sometimes they are “simple” people, inconspicuous, it might be someone volunteering in the kitchen or a quiet person taking the same class. Other times it is someone quite visible, and also audible! 🙂

This year for me, the “special discovery” was our new Indian vocal teacher, Koushik. Replacing Ranjan who was teaching Indian vocal classes the last few years was not an easy task, he had quite a pair of shoes to fill. And yet he did that so effortlessly and graciously. Brilliant and yet so easy to be with, funny and yet never offensive, with the singing that would create such deep feelings of joy, and awe, and peaceful satisfaction. When he would sing, he would generate so much appreciation of the subtleties of Indian Classical music, and yet make it so easy to hear and so enjoyable, – you just din’t want him to stop.

And so, with this season being over, and another Canajoharie summer behind us, there is gratitude, and also the anticipation of future meetings, of the times we will still spend together in the future. Love these kinds of feelings.

Here’s a youtube video of Koushik, enjoy:

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Canajoharie Nirmal Arts Academy 2018

This year I taught an “Egg Batik” course for one week. I had only three students, so it was a very cosy and comfortable work space. It was a great experience, very inspiring, and also very useful for the future.

I refuse to teach “one egg pattern suits all”, and so for each class I have prepared for my students a variety of (100% traditional) patterns within the same basic framework to choose from. It was great, because I was amazed to see how different people chose very different styles of egg patterns, and so it just confirmed for me that it is worth putting in extra work to be able to provide some variety. In the future, I will probably reduce the number of patterns to choose from (instead of almost 20 per class, it will probably be enough to have about 8). It was also great to see after two or three days the students going off into the books, looking for other patterns, or for inspirations for their own eggs.

Here’s a video about several classes, mine is the first clip, starts at about 50 sec.