Artist encourages giving the right side of the brain a workoutPublished 11:38am Monday, February 1, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
For Whitney Ferre, art is more than just putting paint on a canvas.
Ferre, the author of “The Artist Within: A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit,” brought her philosophy on art and creativity to Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve Saturday when she taught an artist workshop for women.
“(The classes are) to empower people to create change not to teach people how to make pretty things,” she said.
Ferre, a Michigan native and University of Michigan grad, travels throughout the United States teaching classes based on her book, designed to help people connect with the right side of their brain.
“There are what I call right brain workouts that physiologically access and strengthen right brain muscles,” she said. “The benefits of which are numerous.”
Besides being relaxing and full of self-discovery, Ferre’s “right brain workouts” are designed to help create change.
“The goal is not to become this master artist,” she said. “It’s to develop this artist within. It’s what empowers you to create change within any area of your life – personal change, corporate or business change or problem solving.”
The workshop, which lasted the entire day, was filled with exercises and discussion that helped even the most left-brained people access their creative side.
One of the first exercises involved each student taking “a snapshot of energy” by taking 15 minutes and just drawing whatever comes to mind on a blank sheet of paper.
After the free draw, the students wrote down five words about their piece.
“They are a message from your subconscious,” Ferre said.
Ferre, who has no formal art training, said most of the exercises in her book and workshops can be done with art supplies that can be bought at a grocery store and can be done at the kitchen table.
On Friday night Fernwood hosted a wine tasting event, where Ferre, who co-owns a wine bar in Nashville, explained the art of making wine.
“The creative process of wine making and painting mirrors the process of creating change and problem solving,” she said.
To find out more about Ferre’s book or philosophy on creativity, visit her Web site at www.creative lyfit.com.