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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Monday, May 17, 2010
  workshop weekend

Time for blogging escaped me this past week--I was so busy getting ready for my first extended Oil and Wax Workshop in my studio, which meant a lot of cleaning and organizing--then teaching for three days on the weekend. Everything went very well except for one slight glitch...I came down with a bad sinus infection which wiped out my energy and clogged up my vocal chords. But the show went on, thanks to the gracious attitude of the participants, who urged me to take needed breaks and helped in various ways to keep things moving. And at the end of the day, especially with feeling less than 100%, I was grateful to be in my own bed.

Although I go through the same basic material about techniques for using cold wax medium in each workshop, each class is unique. I notice that certain things I say in the course of teaching tend to strike a chord and become a catch phrase for the weekend (for this group it was "knock it back"...referring to the way I like to bury imagery and technique under layers.) Often someone will bring in ideas related to a different area of expertise that are a good fit for using with cold wax--in this class, one of the artists is well versed in making textural effects in watercolor, and suggested some new uses for cheesecloth and solvents. Each group mentions favorite books, artists, galleries and museums in the course of conversation, adding to my own general knowledge which I can pass along to other classes. I also enjoy the fact that although people come in with very different levels of experience and background in the art world, this seems to lead to generous sharing of ideas and feedback rather than creating any rift or division in the class.

Without exception I have had cohesive groups with wonderful energy and enthusiasm, lots of laughter and interaction, along with long stretches of serious concentration. But each group has its own dynamic and particular direction, and each group contributes to the overall knowledge and growing enthusiasm for using cold wax medium. I find special enjoyment in teaching in my own studio, where I can grab a book off the shelf or pull out an older painting to illustrate something I am talking about. But teaching in other venues also offers the stimulation of a new area and generally a more spacious set-up than my own studio. The larger groups possible in these bigger spaces have their own dynamic.

This workshop has kicked off the busy and exciting summer and fall season of teaching ahead. For details on upcoming workshops--most of which I will teach away from home--please visit my website.
 
Comments:
Three days working as a small group in your studio must have been an energizing and magical time. I think part of your teaching philosophy is sharing and 'doing', and your participants just naturally share and experiment in a congenial atmosphere, under your guidance. Would love to have been there - it's been just over a year since Rochester. Hope the sinuses are clearing.
 
Thanks Barb--maybe the experimentation aspect does help the magic. (Sinuses--not so magical. Blah.) Anyway--think about maybe coming to another class sometime...a few people have done repeats and seemed to get as much or more out of it the second time around. (Although I know of course, that you are carrying on excellently on your own!)

For anyone else reading this, Barb and four others were in my very first class in Rochester NY, which I remember quite fondly...I hope that feeling is mutual with the others who were there...although I have to say, I've learned a lot since then about teaching.
 
It sounds like a warm and wonderful experience, for you and students alike (sinuses aside). I taught adult seminars for fifteen years and can imagine the dynamics. The back-and-forth and sharing can be magical, though I'm sure it is your particular style, effort, and approach that foster such an open and creative atmosphere. Makes me look forward to Longmont even more!
 
Nancy, I really look forward to working with you in Longmont, especially after our interesting exchanges about abstraction! (Nancy has just started an very interesting blog--click on her name for the link!)
 
Rebecca, I do love the synergy of classes. At the end of teaching a class, I continue to be amazed by what I've learned--as if each student is a fold in a gorgeous fan that has been spread out, revealing a magnificent design. Thank you for introducing me to your term:"knocking it back"--referring to the burial of layers and methods. In writing your account of the day, you've continued to "pass it along." Best to your sinuses.
 
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