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Friday, October 12, 2018

Three Things to Do After an Art Workshop

Pastel Demo Painting using n Art Graf Underpainting
I am home from teaching a wonderful workshop in Pecos New Mexico. I always return home from a workshop energized and inspired by the artists in the class as well as the scenery! I got home at 4:00 in the morning and it has taken me a couple of days to recover but I am back to work and would like to share some thoughts on what you can do after a workshop.

 My photos from Pecos and Santa Fe NM

It never fails.  I return home from a painting workshop full of inspiration and ideas only to be faced with a list of non art related chores.  I am thrown back into the regular routine and before I know it that spark of excitement and inspiration is pushed down by the weight of my other obligations.  If only we could have a couple of extra days after a workshop just to paint and talk to our artist friends about the things we have learned.

Most of us don't have the opportunity or time to spend a few extra days just to paint.  But this time I am going to do my best to not let the ideas from the workshop take a back seat to everything else.  I decided that there are three important things that I need to do after every workshop and I will encourage my students to do the same after a workshop they take with me as well. So what are the 3 things?


  • PAINT!  I can't stress how important it is to get right to the easel after a workshop. The longer you wait the more you will tend to forget. Paint while the instructor's demos and words are still fresh in your mind.  You know when you can still he the voice of the instructor in your head as you paint?  This voice will fade the longer you wait.  I find I do better trying the ideas and techniques I learned once I am back in the studio. I can take my time and practice. 

  • LOOK BACK AT YOUR NOTES!  How many times have you taken a notebook full of notes and then never looked at them again?  I know I am guilty of this. Yes there is the benefit of writing down notes in the first place but you will get more out of them if you look at them again. It is a good idea to re read your notes right after the workshop while it is all fresh in your mind.  It is even better if you can take some time to rewrite your notes.  This extra step will really help to cement the ideas in your mind.  I know that mu notes are often a jumble of thoughts I write down as the instructor speaks and paints....so it helps me to rewrite the notes an make better sense of them.

  • CONNECT WITH THE OTHER ARTISTS!  One of the best things about a workshop experience is meeting other like minded people. Other artists who share the same passions and who want to be the best they can be.  The friendships and camaraderie that develops can be one of the best things to come from a workshop.  If you can reach out to theses new friends so that you can stay connected it is worth the effort.  At this workshop, the coordinator sent out an email list of students after the workshop. This was such a nice touch! I also plan to look up my new friends on Facebook.  Often we have already met on facebook and only meet in person at a workshop so it works both ways!
Finished demo

Here you can see the underpainting

2 comments:

Kate said...

Got this just in time. I am coming off a pastel workshop of Thursday/Friday of this past week. Today is the Saturday after. I am taking the day to paint and fully complete the painting we did in class. I was forced to leave for a couple hours of the workshop in order to teach a class of my own, so I was a little behind the rest of the class. It was a fabulous workshop and in spite of missing a little of it, I left feeling very positive, pleased with my picture (which rarely seems to happen for me at workshops), and inspired to try the techniques at home. Thank you for tackling this topic, which is so timely for me.

Gloria Abrahamian said...

so true...i had so much non-art work to do and i don't feel inspired like i did at the workshop, but i need to push myself to paint. I loved your workshop and wish i had more totally dedicated creative time. oh well...that's life.