March brings Workshop Week at the American Women’s Club of Zurich. From Wednesday to Wednesday in the middle of the month, one can sign up for a variety of workshops ranging from personal growth to travel to food to art. I chose the workshop entitled Inspiration from Chagall. I am not a painter or artist, by any means, but I do enjoy painting once in a while. I also enjoy Chagall’s work. Some of his stained glass windows are right here in the Fraumunster in Zürich. The first thing I had to do after registering was to find a set of watercolors to use. I lucked out an found a set in the Migros at the HB for under 6 CHF. Although the workshop was supposed to last only three hours, we were working so hard and enjoying the experience so much that we went on for another hour. I invited my friend from the orchestra to come along, and we ended up as four participants. First we looked at a lot of Chagall’s works and described what we saw (vibrant colors, non-realistic colors, animals, violins, village life, etc.). As a painting warm-up we drew a squiggle and filled in the spaces with paint. Then we learned about Chagall’s life. I had known, I think, but forgotten, that he was Russian, although he spent a good deal of his life in Paris. He painted what was important to him (love, music, ceremonies, town life, stories). Chagall said, “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”
Our next task was to create something from our heart after making a list of what was important to us. Though I was not particularly happy with my outcome, I did enjoy the process of creating and painting. I brought home my paints and am thinking about how I would create another version of a Chagall-inspired piece.