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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An Important Tip for Getting the Most from an Art Workshop

'The Desert is Blooming'         5x7         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $75
Sometimes you get lucky. You are taking a class or watching a demo or maybe even attending a conference and you are bombarded with great information. It isn't really possible to process it all at one time. It is sometimes even difficult to get good notes and watch at the same time. It can be a dilemma! Should we sit and listen and watch or try to take notes?

We all learn in different ways and I happen to learn best when I listen and take notes. So I have gotten pretty efficient at taking notes during a presentation. But so often these copious notes would be forgotten. When I returned home from the event life would get in the way and the notebook went on the shelf.....the pearls of wisdom forever hidden.  NOT ANY MORE! I have an important tip that I want to share. It is something I learned at the Plein Air Convention.

Taking lots of notes...and some sketches too.
This tip was found among the paperwork given to the convention attendees. I thought it was a good tip and I am glad I remembered to follow through. It was suggested that we reserve a page or two at the front of our notebook to record anything that really stood out to us....something we wanted to be sure to remember and act on when we got home. Such a simple idea!

I found that during the demos and presentations there would be ideas that really spoke to me. They might have been new concepts or new ways of explaining something or maybe even a great idea I wanted to try. I decided to call them 'Bright Spots' as in light bulb AHA moments. As I heard a Bright Spot I recorded it in the front of my notebook. I ended up with 15 really great ideas that are no longer buried in the pile of notes. It will be much easier to act on them now.

Sure I got much more information than 15 ideas at the convention, but these were the things that really stopped me in my tracks. If I can come away from a conference or workshop with tangible ideas that I can act on and not forget then it was definitely a successful event!

'Desert Spring'       5x7      pastel      $75
The next time you are at a workshop or anywhere you are taking notes....try this idea of recording the Bright Spots and see if it makes a difference!


Marsha Savage said...

That is a wonderful idea, Karen. I'll have try that also. As you, I take copious notes and I draw a little while listening. But, the tip for putting a few "bright spots" at the first page as you hear them, is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Then use your printer to make a copy of your bright ideas and hang them in your studio to see them and review them and try them for at least 3 weeks! Don't leave them hidden even in a note book!
Karen Rodgers

robertsloan2art said...

Oh that s a cool idea. My notes are usually chronological and thorough, it's process of writing and sketching them that helps me remember and apply what I've learned. But there are always those bright spots, they stand out even when everything's inspiring. Thanks for a great idea! Love the cactus painting.

BTW I use brush tip Pitt Artist Pens and do little thumbnail drawings constantly to get ideas down, often words are not enough. I don't usually use the Big Brush, just the smaller brush tip size, it's very effective for captions as well as sketching.