My Experience in The Enso Circle, Fall 2022

In 2022 found myself at yet another crossroads in this journey we call life.

I hung up my nonprofit / volunteer hat in August to refocus my art career which had basically been on hiatus since the beginning of the pandemic. But I was in a creative slump even before then, so I knew I needed direction, guidance, cohorts, and resources if I were to make it work this time around. I found all of this and more with The Enso Circle. I submitted my application in August for the Fall 2022 semester and what a happy day it was when I found out I was accepted. This was my first experience with any type of residency let alone a virtual residency.

The residency lasts 12 weeks and we had to start off with a goal that we wanted to accomplish within that timeframe. I love nothing more than a challenge and a tight deadline. My main goal was to tell a short story and depict that story with visuals. Simple enough, right? WRONG! Thankfully, because of the amazing curriculum developed by Michelle Belto and Lyn Belisle I was able to approach my goals and refine them in ways I never considered before. Utilizing an art journal, personal journal, creative exercises, progress feedback, open discussions, and so much more.

The added bonus of the residency was of course being able to connect with talented artists who are working towards their own vastly different goals at the same time. It was interesting to see behind the veil of the process and the areas in which we all seemed to struggle, but at least we were struggling together. I can’t thank Lyn and Michelle enough for developing this program and if you too find yourself at a crossroads in your art journey or you just need to recharge your creative practices, you should definitely consider applying to The Enso Circle.

Now I would like to share the work that came from my time with The Enso Circle.

Art Studio Tour

I created this video to give my fellow residents a tour of my studio. For the longest time I created art from just one desk in a small and often shared room. Making this video helped me to appreciate the space I now find myself in.

Postcards to Myself

“Postcards to Myself” is an excellent exercise developed by Lyn Belisle that opens up a flow of creativity and gives you the freedom to experiment and play with different mediums. The final results can be eye opening as you try to identify sections that work the best as a composition.

Final Project

More so than simply a short story told through visuals, I decided to pull a memory from within and translate it on four wooden plaques using mixed media to the best of my ability. I also made a pledge that I would not buy any supplies or materials to make this. Instead, I would have to use only what I had on hand or get real creative and figure out new ways to achieve what I had in mind. The only item that was purchased were the hardware for the hinges which a friend was nice enough to purchase for me.

I firmly believe that I would not have created this piece if I was not part of The Enso Circle and it certainly would not have turned out the same way either. I received so much constructive feedback that resulted in a successful piece.

What surprised me the most was that in the process of making this piece I experienced multiple personal revelations that emerged simply from the work itself serendipitously. Here is my piece in four panels. Click to view each image in greater details. Read the story with care. Once you are done reading, revisit each panel to find the different ways they are connected to each other (other than the hinges).

The Dove and The Cardinal

Critiquing myself

When I think about memories and the past, I realize they are all connect through different people, places, and things. Which is why I included some of the same elements in each panel to emphasize this connectivity. For instance, each panel includes a watch that represents time. Each panel includes a paper or fabric element represents the fiber of our being. Each panel includes a blue cufflink that represents the links between multiple generations.

Diving deeper, the torn page of an art history book in panel 1 explains why the daughter was able to recreate similar work for an art project at school in panel 2. She was already exposed to the concepts previously. The choice in colors for each panels is meant to convey mood and the aesthetic of the times. The wacky fabric used in panel 1 is the exact print of the curtains my mother made for my bedroom in the 1990s. It is long gone now but I found scraps of the same fabric print at a thrift store and was instantly taken back to a different time. The patch in panel 3 is from the 1st Calvary Division of the US Army which my grandfather was part of. The flower used in panel 4, meant to bring the painting into reality, is actually from my own wedding. This piece really resonates with me and I hope that on some level it can do the same for others.

The story is simple, but it addresses how perspective can change for anyone at anytime. What you believe and feel most of your life may not be 100% correct. What is important is taking new found knowledge and use it to grow as an artist and as a human being.

This piece measures at 35.5″ x 11.5″ when laid out flat. It can stand upright or can be hung on a wall.

$250 – Available

If you are interested in purchasing this piece please contact me