The Unselfconscious Pencil

Workshop in NYC, image by Brigita Ozolins


O’Hara will guide participants through drawing exercises using researched scribble sequences to explore the phenomenology of the unconscious as evoked through the act of drawing.

By using both hands to manipulate the pencil, participants will grapple with physical awkwardness and discover how lack of control often allows the unconscious to bring forth singular images to work with. Participants will be invited to share their experiences with the group through conversation and performative drawing. The goal is to support creative development and to reopen the capacity to play, to relax, rebalance, and restore the individual – body, mind, and heart.

Minimum 5 people per workshop, maximum 10 to afford individual attention. This workshop will be held in the artist’s studio at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, 323 West 39th Street in Midtown Manhattan.


Workshop at the Drawing Center, NY


Workshop at the Drawing Center, NY


“To observe Morgan O’Hara at work in her Midtown Manhattan studio is to witness power, something like a tornado with dancingly fluid limbs, poignant speech, and intense blue eyes that smile as they inquire under a neat crop of jagged, burgundy hair. As a seasoned, internationally acclaimed “live transmission” artist – faithfully hardworking since her undergraduate years of the early 60s’ in California, when she first met and became irrevocably influenced by the life and work of John Cage – she epitomizes the phrase “a force to be reckoned with”. Contrary to common associations with the phrase, however, she imbues it with grace.” Janna Dyk

“Morgan’s innumerable abstract drawings, her thousands of humble conceptual acts materialize bravely on paper the many private and public dramas of the human condition through all manner of prolonged activity. These seismographic-like drawings, executed on many levels and scales, are a remarkable spirited legacy that reveals the workings of the unconscious, if not the desire to capture the fullness of the life force itself.” Ernesto Pujol

Biographical Information

Morgan O'Hara teaches master classes in drawing and the psychology of creativity in art academies in the US, Europe and Asia. She is recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Gottleib Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Her work is in the permanent collections of many institutions, including: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The British Museum, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hood Museum of Art - Dartmouth College, New Hampshire; Macau Art Museum, Macau, China; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Weatherspoon Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Japan and earned a Master's Degree in Art from California State University at Los Angeles.

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