Sunday, March 25, 2018

Creative Concepts Design Workshop/Residency at UCC, Ireland-Educate Your Imagination!

Imagining Something is the First Step to Making it Happen

"Creative Concepts" - a free three-day design workshop in The Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork. 24th to 26th May, 2017

The Glucksman

"The Creative Concepts workshop is designed to help students and staff of varied levels and disciplines expand their perceptive ability and intuitive intelligence. Drawing and collage will serve as the basis for exploring and conveying provocative themes and concepts. Unusual, yet cohesive solutions to visual problems are found by tricking the rational mind into “losing its grip”. Participation involves a whole-brained experience of exploring and integrating information, where analogies are drawn and "the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.”

The Creative Concepts Crew (Minus a Few)

This three-day workshop was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. We started with a more personal exercise in self-reflection/expression using collage, a mixing-and-matching activity as creativity warm up. Then led into projects using skills and concepts that subtly build upon one another. The culminating project, Seeing and Drawing Sounds, offered more leeway, allowing for the free adaptation of the skills and concepts covered.

Personal Collage Narrative (Past, Present & Future):

Getting Started

Love in the Digital Age

Adept Integration of Forms

Have You Tried Chartreuse?

Serious Work Flow!

Dual Projects!

A Mystical Narrative

A Comfortable Corner

Nature Consciousness

A Participant's Perspective on Collage Narrative:

Drawing Exercise - Experiencing the Shift to the Right Side of the Brain. 

Upside Down Contour Drawing of Irish Poet Samuel Beckett.

On The Screen: Irish Poet Samuel Beckett by Photographer John Minihan

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Admiring the Results

Turned Right Side Up

A Few Adaptations-Working Up The Darks

Exercise Complete!

Comparing Notes

A Participant's Perspective on Drawing Upside Down:

Designing Tessellations

The Intersection of Math and Art-Square Template Method:

Cloth Sample of Silkscreened Tessellation Design

Mountain Top Tessellation Demo Drawing

Busy Designing Tessellations

A Participant's Perspective on Designing Tessellations:

Design Systems and Structures

Designing From Nature and Using Undifferentiated Substructures (students were given a choice between three different projects):

Map Projection Demo (Undifferentiated Substructure)

Native Faces in the North Carolina Coast

Finished Map Projection by Workshop Participant

A Participant's Perspective on Map Projections: 

Seeing and Drawing Sounds 

Songs of the Humpback Whale and Classic Jazz Greats: Don Cherry; Dewey Redden; Charlie Haden; Ed Blackwell and Kenny Garrett:

Sounds Seen:

Sounds Abound!

Circulating Sounds!

Landscapes of Sound

Triple Inspiration!

Sound Cornucopia

Deep Blue Sound

Jazz Syncopation Sounds

A Participant's Perspective on Seeing Sounds:

Watch The Video "Creative Concepts" UCC Teaching Travelogue Part 1

Have you ever dabbled in iMovie? If so, and if you’re somewhat geeky, you know that it’s way too fun to learn, and takes up way too much time! I taught myself how to use iMovie in 2015 during a stint of jet lag after arriving in Hangzhou, China for a month-long teaching residency. Basically, I was awake in the middle of the night for two weeks straight, which afforded me the quiet time to learn.

…So, I’m happy to announce that this post contains the video 
”Creative Concepts” UCC Teaching Travelogue Part 1. It documents the workshop and also re-visits my 2015 family trip to attend the Boole 200 Bicentenary Celebration. There is also a Part 2, which includes a trip to Dublin after delivering the workshop in Cork. For both Parts 1 and 2, Dublin recording artist, Stano generously allowed me free use of the music from three of his recent CDs. This made for a very integrated project, which is, for lack of a better description, a collage experiment done in iMovie.

Please click on images or links below to view Part 1 on YouTube…please subscribe and I’d love to have some feedback if you have time!

A Little Background Info:

In 2015, the descendants of George Boole, which includes my extended family, were invited to the Boole 200 Bicentenary Celebration (1815-2015) at University College Cork, Ireland, where he was Professor of Mathematics. Known as the forefather of the Information Age, Boole, the son of a shoemaker, was largely self-taught.

“George Boole was a mystic genius, whose ideas have utterly transformed the world in which we live. Computers, information storage and retrieval systems, electronic circuits and almost the entire world of present-day technology depend vitally on the simple but ingenious mathematics he invented – Boolean Algebra.” -Desmond MacHale

During this 2015 trip I exhibited two art pieces and gave a lecture at the Boole Library. One of these works, “Circuit Board Thunderbird” was purchased for the library board room.

Alyssa Hinton & Olivia Frawley

I returned in 2017 to deliver a 5 part workshop designed to educate the imaginations of students and staff at UCC, hence the “Creative Concepts” Teaching Travelogue Movie:

“Imagining something is the first step towards making it happen. Education of the imagination can happen by encouraging an expansive thought process through the free association of ideas, allowing for the maximum amount of non-structure and divergence to exist within the framework of a clear structure. Within this balanced paradigm mistakes can readily become opportunities, altering definitions of success and perfection.” -Alyssa Hinton


“Creative Concepts Design Workshop”

Contact Alyssa for info on bringing this workshop to your organization:

109 Hilton Ave. Durham, NC 27707


Thursday, January 25, 2018

“Drawing on the Dreamtime- A Transformative Experience” Workshop/Residency at the Southern Dreaming Regional Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Greenville, SC

As a visual artist, images, gifted to me in dreams, have helped me recover cultural information that has been forgotten or seemingly lost. In this workshop, dreams are used as a springboard for the release of creative self-expression. We explore drawing in full color through the free association of ideas in much the same way I use dreams in my studio practice. Basic concepts relating to dreams and to “perceived reality” are discussed from a cross-cultural perspective. *No art or drawing experience necessary (offered for C.E.U. credit).

Dreams, Prophecy & Native American Cultural Reawakening-My Journey as a Dream Guided Artist

A major theme in my artwork has been the reawakening of southeastern Native American culture, and dreams have always been an integral part of this journey and narrative. In fact dreams and visions have played a major role in the development of this theme over the past 20 years.

This workshop started with a presentation, where I shared examples of my dream-conceived art and discussed how the work progressed thematically over time. We also discussed basic concepts relating to dreams and to “perceived reality”, comparing events in our dream world to experiences in our waking hours.

My intention was to demonstrate how symbolic images, gifted to me in dreams and waking visions, and illustrated in my art, have literally brought me face to face with the lost history and culture of my Native American ancestors.

The 7th Generation Philosophy

I managed to come up with quite the bundle of information all connected to my dream inspired work: historical, spiritual, political, personal and transformational. I also discussed the traditional concept of artist as shaman and the role of dreams and dreamers in Native American culture in general.

Near the end of the presentation I zeroed in on the 7th Generation philosophy, which has greatly influenced my art. The 7th Generation philosophy is like a strategic plan founded upon earth consciousness. It says we should always project 7 generations forward in decision making when it comes to things like water, air and earth. We should ask ourselves what will be available 7 generations from now?

Black Elk (holy man) and Crazy Horse (warrior), both Oglala Lakota, had similar visions, along with many other indigenous leaders across North America. The visions showed a period of great darkness and suffering (Crazy Horse even saw cars, planes and both world wars before these things came into existence).

These visions led to the Prophecy of the 7th Generation, which foretells of a cleansing time 7 generations after contact, where Indians and people of all races would dance together under the Sacred Tree.

Standing Rock

In fact, people of all colors have recently come together at Standing Rock to protect the water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The young leaders of this movement, in their role as Water Protectors, consider themselves to be the “7th Generation” and are stepping up to fulfill this prophecy.

All 10 Workshop Participants Hard at Work
With full inspiration, these very creative and energetic participants pulled from the well of their own dreams to delve into the symbolism and metaphors through drawing. We illustrated our dream experiences with plenty of detail in full color, making use of the free association of ideas that dreams open up to us, in much the same way I use dreams in my studio practice.

Sharing and Critique Time

Posing with “Drawing on the Dreamtime” Participants

Group Shot with Completed Works!

Please Click Below For the IASD Conference Video:

“Drawing on the Dreamtime, A Transformative Experience”

Contact Alyssa for info on bringing this workshop to your organization:

109 Hilton Ave. Durham, NC 27707


Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Digital Hybrid Art" Workshop/Residency, Experimental Printmaking Department, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou (College Level)

I was recently invited to the China Academy of Art to do an Experimental Printmaking Residency in Hangzhou, China from Sept. 27th to October 22nd. 30 plus years have passed since I was last in China, when I was studying at The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Middle School in Beijing as a teenager…and 40 plus years have passed since I was there as a child of 9 at the tail end of Mao’s Cultural Revolution running free with my little friends in Dazhai Village in the hills of Shanxi Province waving corn cob embers to draw animals in the night sky.
1971-Michael, Cathy and Alyssa Hinton in Dazhai Commune, Shanxi Province, China
Shortly after I arrived, the security desk man gave me some recent issues of the China Art Weekly Magazine to look at, and I was immediately struck by the realization of just how deep my early study of Traditional Chinese painting had truly been. Even in my most recent work the influence was blatantly evident to me…mainly in the dramatic expression of the dynamic contrasts found in landscape. I found this very inspiring for the initiation of my “Art of Transformation” Hybrid Art Residency, which like most of my residencies, are fairly experimental.

China Academy of Art (CAA) Hybrid Art Lecture Preparations:

CAA Hybrid Art Lecture:

To kick off the residency, I gave an autobiographical Power Point Lecture, where I talked a lot about personal identity. I also stressed the fact that mixed media, multi media, collage and montage lend themselves well to bringing the divergent parts of an individual together as a holistic way to represent the self. 

Using details, all the parts make a whole. This is the ideology inherent in mixed media or collage/montage. Because of this the medium itself can also become part of the message and a vehicle for self expression…

China Academy of Art Main Entrance

China Academy of Art Bookstore

Department of printmaking

Getting Ready to Give My Hybrid Art Power Point Lecture

CAA Experimental Printmaking Hybrid Art Residency:

My residency within the China Academy of Art Printmaking Department was all about having the students create hybrid works combining conventional drawing and printmaking with digital techniques in Photoshop to illustrate some form of expressive identity narrative. About half way through my residency I found the need to explain the importance of thoroughly “owning” your mixed media and demonstrating how to truly make an image your own, despite the use of digital software settings and filters…...Never settle for the “pre-packaged” look!

Having a Look at Student Print works

My Residency- Teaching How To Own Your Mixed Media!
On Our Way To Get Some Noodles!

Getting Student Work Printed Up for the Exhibition:

Unpacking The Mounted Works:

Installing the Exhibition:

CAA Printmaking Department

Show Dates: 10-21-2015 to 1-1-2016

Click Any CAA Student Art Work Below for

a Wonderful Student Exhibit Presentation.


Undergraduate Goodbye Picture:

This post is dedicated to the young, the steadfast, the man who solved every problem, graduate student, Zhang Zihao. A special thanks to you!


"Lord" Zihao taking care of business!

By Zihao

"Experimental Printmaking Hybrid Art Residency"

Contact Alyssa for info on bringing a similar workshop to your organization:

109 Hilton Ave. Durham, NC 27707