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Monday, April 04, 2016

How to Prepare for a Painting Workshop

'Where the Wildflowers Bloom'        8x10        pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $125

I Wonder What if..... this is the attitude I adopt when painting. It is what I encourage artists in my workshops to do as well. Believing that it is only paper free us to experiment and play and in turn we learn.  I can't wait for this weekend and the plain air workshop in the Texas Hill Country. Marsha Hamby Savage and I are team teaching as we make our way to Tucson Arizona and the 5th Plein Ait Convention!  This workshop will be the perfect opportunity for a 'what if' attitude.

I thought I would share some ideas to help you prepare for your next art workshop. These are all tips I have learned as a student. I love being the student!

- Know the instructor. Read books, watch videos read reviews ....any information put out by your instructor. Knowing some of their teachings in advance will give you the opportunity to hear it again....live and in person.

-Know how to work any new equipment. Practice with new easels and boxes so that you feel confident and son't waste precious time struggling with equipment. I just did this last night with an umbrella a rarely use. I don't want to look like a 'newbie' at the convention!

-Don't bring the kitchen sink! Take time to consolidate your supplies. Often workshops are in tight quarters and you may have to share space with others. It is tiring and frustrating dealing with packing and unpacking and packing multiple boxes of pastels. Take time to organize and consolidate. If it is a plein air workshop it is even more important to consolidate supplies. You need to be able to carry your gear as well as set up and take down quickly. You never know when you might need to!

-Know where you are going! Consult maps and get directions. Allow for traffic. Make sure you allow extra time to arrive and get set up before the workshop begins. If you are rushed and harried you will be starting on the wrong foot.

- Don't forget to put your 'what if' hat on. Remember you are taking a workshop to learn something new. It isn't a show or a contest to see who can paint the best. It is about putting yourself in learning mode. No matter how much or little experience you may have remember that everyone is in the same place......they came to the workshop to learn.

- Be open to try new things without worrying about doing it right or wrong.  And be sure to TRY new techniques. If you fall back into your comfort zone you won't have the opportunity to grow and learn what the instructor has to offer.


I have several workshops scheduled for 2016 and it is not too late to join one. Here is just a sample. Visit my website here for more details and registration details.

- June    St. Augustine FL   4 hour mini workshop on painting the sky

- July     CROATIA and Venice!

- September  Blue Ridge Georgia one day Plein air workshop

- October     South Carolina  3 day Underpainting workshop

- October   Pecos New Mexico  5 day Plain air retreat


cberwind@aol.com said...

Don't bring the kitchen sink are words I should live by. Yours was the first workshop I had attended and have to say I definitely over packed! I also needed to leave my inner critic at home. I brought the SOB to that workshop and he made sure my struggle was constant and far greater than it needed to be. That being said, the workshop was the single best thing I've done since picking my paints back up.

Patti Frasier said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. I have just discovered the "what if" attitude. Not the what if this doesn't turn out or what if I fail. Or make a mistake. It's what if I try this? It's made a huge difference for me lately.

gideon sockpuppet said...

Those are great pointers. I would be the person rushing in late, all flustered, and messing with setting up my equipment for way too long.