This past weekend, I attended a fantastic art workshop in Vermont taught by the artist Claire Desjardin. I have long admired her colorful, organic paintings and the loose, playful style of her work.
Taking a workshop is a great way to grow as an artist. But like learning any new skill, it can also be accompanied by frustration and disappointment. The key to enjoying your workshop experience is to go in with a creative spirit. A workshop is a great place to experiment with new ideas and make new artist friends. It is NOT a place where you can expect to do your best work or come home with finished masterpieces after having mastered the latest techniques. You will likely feel as if you are struggling. That’s because you are. It’s important to just dive in, take risks, and push on with this new approach. Pushing through the struggle rather than succumbing and resuming old practices that are comfortable is the whole reason that you took the workshop.
Another great benefit is that you get to spend concentrated artistic time with like-minded peers. How special is it to have protected time to create; time where you are freed from the concerns of everyday living. Traveling away from home to attend a workshop gets you away from ringing phones, laundry, bill paying, and other distractions. Set aside this opportunity and protected it on your calendar. Attending a creative retreat will help to nourish and replenish your creative soul.
For Christmas this year, I got a new iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. It’s been sitting around because I wasn’t really sure how to use it as an art tool. Stop lollygagging! As Nike says, “Just do it”! So I did.
I just signed up to take an online class by Ivy Newport call “Paint and Pixel”. It’s about learning to make art using your iPad. I thought this would be a fun way to learn more about digital art creation process. It sure beats reading the manual! Check out www.ivynewport.com for all her classes. This class is an online self-study type course with a Facebook support group for more personal interactions. Want to join me? I’ll post some of my work once I get started.
Here are a couple more paintings I completed while at the Encaustic Immersion workshop led by Alicia Tormey. She’s a very talented artist, and very creative. She has developed some unique techniques that give her art a signature look that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Unfortunately, I promised not to reveal her secrets to the public, so you’ll just have to take her workshop to find out =). www.aliciatormey.com/workshops.htm
Actually, setting the world on fire would be a bad thing. I attended an Encaustic Immersion workshop this weekend instructed by the talented Alicia Tormey. I learned all sorts of new techniques including using a butane torch! So you can see why burning down the teacher’s studio would not be recommended.
Here’s a painting I did at the workshop. I used a kitchen sink of techniques including embedding paper, carving into and refilling with wax (intarsia), pressing objects into hot wax and coloring the imprints with oil paints, photo transfers and dripped wax.
It was a great group of women. I’m the one in the middle all in black. I highly recommend taking the workshop. It’s only two days, no art experience needed and it’s in beautiful Seattle. Click here for more info: www.aliciatormey.com/workshops.htm
P.S. If you start working with a torch, it’s a good idea to get safety shoes. Here’s a good resource: https://www.thebabbleout.com/shoes/best-kitchen-shoes/
If you’re in NYC this weekend, stop by my studio and say “hi”! LIC Arts Open is this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Over 200 artists in Long Island City are opening their studios to the public and I’m one of them. It’s just one subway stop out of Manhattan in Queens. Take the E, F or M train to the Court Square station, then it’s only a three block walk! Drop by my studio at Reis Studios (43-01 22nd St., LIC) . I’m giving away free candy…okay it’s not much of a bribe but it’s better than nothing!