Last Wednesday afternoon, November 9th, I was invited to do a paid demonstration at the Hemet Valley Art Association, attended by 40-50 members and fellow artists. This was my first demonstration in front of a large group, and I had no idea what to expect. Since the audience was unfamiliar with Fusionart, Richard and I agreed that he would give a few introductory remarks to prepare them for what they were about to see. This allowed me to focus on painting and stay in my creative zone. He began by showing them two of my earlier oil paintings (a realistic still life and an impressionist seascape) we had brought along to illustrate my evolution as an artist. He then showed them a piece I had recently finished. They seemed impressed because it established in their minds that I can paint well in traditional styles they are accustomed to, and helped them to understand that I had become a Fusionartist because it opened the door for me to paint fully from my heart and express my spirit with complete freedom. After some brief comments on the uniqueness and relevance of Fusionart and its insight into the nature of creativity, Richard started the music on my portable ipod dock and I began to paint.
Within five minutes we could feel the energy shift as the room became silent, focused on what I was doing as the painting emerged. I was applying paint with rags, paper towels, brushes from Home Depot and my fingers as many Fusionartists do. This was new to a lot of the members of the audience, and gave them a sense of the spontaneous nature of Fusionart. There was a coffee break after 45 minutes or so because the canvas had become too wet for me to continue. During the break, I was able to talk informally with a number of people. Their comments were all positive. There were appreciative remarks about the freedom of expression. Several audience members were attracted by the synchronicity of the music and painting, which was apparently new to them. Others sensed the spiritual overtones of the work, and were drawn to that. One woman even sang part of the song “Stairway to the Stars” to me because that is what came to her when she looked at my painting. I was also asked to judge a competition (another first for me) in which members of the association submitted their work. After the break, I worked mainly with brushes on greater detail for another half hour or so. Throughout the demonstration, I could hear cameras clicking as people recorded the progress on the canvas. I was pleased that I was able to stay in my creative zone even with all those people watching. A number of people told me how happy they were to be exposed to something new, some even found the demonstration “thrilling.”
There has been much positive fallout for Fusionart in general and me in particular. There have been 5 articles in the local press about my exhibit at the Banning Center for the Arts as well as this demonstration. There were 2 articles in the largest local newspaper, the Press Enterprise. A few days ago, to my amazement, I even received a letter from our California State Senator, Bill Emerson, (I had no idea who he was) congratulating me for being featured in the Press Enterprise and commending me for my “outstanding talent and commitment to the community”. More important for me is that 4 people signed up for the 3hr workshop on Fusionart painting I will lead in my home at the beginning of December. (4 is the maximum I can handle at one time). All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to expose more people to Fusionart as a “satellite” in the Inland Empire.