|'Living the Good Life' 18x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Since I am in the midst of making travel arrangements for the workshops I will be attending this year, this question is heavy on my mind. Some experienced artists try to limit the number of workshops they take in a given period. Some feel as though they would rather spend their time painting more....allowing them to put together all they they have learned over the years. And this is valid. It does take putting in those miles of canvas and spending quality studio time to take your work to the next level.
I have been painting now for 7 years. I have taken many workshops with some wonderful instructors. I teach my own classes and workshops. Should I take more workshops or should I just paint? My answer is ....paint and take more workshops! Here's why.
|close-up of 'Living the Good Life'|
- PRUNING TIME No matter how experienced we are we can always learn something new. I was listening to an art podcast and the artist who was very successful and respected talked about how he likes to take workshops form other artists he admires because it helps "prune off the dead wood" What a great thought. We are always growing as painters and sometimes we grow branches that we don't need or that are weighing us down. It sometimes takes some new thinking or another experienced eye to see what we need.
- Fresh eyes. When you are a new painter taking too many workshops can often be confusing because everything is so new. Experienced painters can benefit from workshops because new information or something put in a new way will be more obvious. You may hear something you already knew explained in a different way. All of the sudden a lightbulb may light. It could make all the difference in something you are struggling with.
- Workshops give us time to paint. Sometimes experienced artists get caught up or bogged down with things other than studio time.....marketing, business, art associations, galleries,teaching. Attending a workshop is a way to give you some dedicated painting time. And the bonus is that you might learn something new.
- Networking and the camaraderie of other artists. One of the benefits of attending a workshop for artists of any level is the opportunity to spend time with like minded people. There is something special about meeting other artists and immersing yourself in all things art for a few days. Learning from other artists is often just as valuable as learning from the instructor.
- An excuse to travel. This is one of my favorite reasons. A workshop is a great excuse for a road trip with my art friends!
Doug Dawson in Florida
Elizabeth Mowry in Georgia (our SPS judge)
Bill Creevy at IAPS
Stan Sperlak in NJ