Deborah Koff-Chapin is an artist whose work always moves me, on a profound level. I would so enjoy seeing her work “up close and personal.” Even better would be an opportunity to watch her paint an Interpretive Drawing Session. Deborah says:
Through the immediacy of Touch Drawing, I am able to visually portray the content and feeling-tone of a lecture, poetry reading, meeting or musical performance. I create 8-12 drawings per hour. I love the collaborative nature of the experience. I often create images I would not have developed on my own.
It is not surprising that Deborah will be part of the Esalen Programs, spending a whole month from November 22 – December 17, 2010, as part of the Esalen Work Scholar Program. This program sounds like a tremendous opportunity for those interested in
an intense involvement with the Esalen environment and an in-depth experience of the Esalen approach to holistic personal and social development.
In several in-depth interviews with Cat Saunders (Touch Drawing and From Paper Towels to Soul Cards), Deborah outlines how Touch Drawing started and the many benefits it has for those who practice it.
The human condition, even suffering and pain, can shift with the addition of creative energy. When there is no place to turn and the pain seems overwhelming, creativity can redeem that pain. I think a lot of great art comes from that. But I don’t want to hold that as the only way. My path has been to take me to something different.
I created a few touch drawings, in my studio, and can attest that there is a very different feeling when painting with the fingers. I felt as if I was caressing a face into being. Very recently, Deborah remarked:
This year I have sensed a great deepening and hesitate to call them ‘workshops’ any longer. The strength of the ‘field’ just seems to keep growing. There is such a glow in the rooms during even a one-day workshop. I am becoming more and more comfortable weaving group vocalizing and movement into the experience. The feedback is that this really does help people to engage more deeply with Touch Drawing. I am beginning to refer to the experience as ‘Sacred Expressive Arts’.
If you are like me, this sounds very attractive. It calls to the part of yourself that wants to engage with your inner being and your materials on a deeper level. From everything I have read, working with Debra would be a superb choice for guiding us into experiencing art in a sacred way.