Sunday, June 24, 2007
Blondheim Art Original Landscape Paintings
Cypress on Lake Santa Fe
casein on linen panel
Here are four friends who came to my workshop on Saturday. I had every intention of getting a group photo and let four people get away before I remembered to take a photo. There were eight who came.
We had a wonderful time together. We started the day with coffee and bagels, doing tree painting exercises all morning and then stopped for lunch. It is always nice to have lunch together as a group I think. I know it uses up time but many ideas are hatched ,much information is exchanged, and friendships are formed during the lunch break.
After lunch we painted all kinds of tree bark and then got on to our final painting of the day. I did a quick little demo on painting Spanish Moss and worked on a painting in progress. The day went very fast and it was soon time to clean up and review the wonderful array of beautiful paintings we produced. That is the amazing part of workshops to me. Seeing the diversity of visions is thrilling.
Thanks to everyone for coming and spending the day painting with me. it was a thrill as always. I've not had a more harmonious group.
If you are a workshop student be sure to ask all the questions you have during the event. Don't be shy about it. For instance, at the Tree Workshop one of the students asked for a demo on painting moss, another asked me to give them some ideas on how to install paintings in frames, so I got out some equipment and showed them how to install various supports into frames and we discussed hardware. Luckily, I had a framing expert and archivalist attending and he was able to give the others much more information than I could have. I feely admit that I am a novice framer, but I do get by. I have a custom framer who does a lot of framing for my clients.
Don't ever feel intimidated by a workshop teacher. They are there to help, but they can't possibly read your mind and know whether you are getting all you need from them. It is unfair for you to expect that they will automatically know what information you want. It should always be a give and take situation between teacher and students. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable asking your teacher for help then they need to know that they are sending an intimidating message. They may not know it at all. If you don't feel you can ask them questions without being made to feel stupid, then you are in the wrong workshop.
One of the things to remember and something that I strive to convey is that there are going to be unique approaches to painting that are a bit different. A good teacher will understand and accomodate a student who has their own vision. In fact, I feel like celebrating when I encounter this kind of painter. I have no interest in changing their vision, but rather giving them the tools to enhance their work within the parameters they have set for themselves. They must not allow their spirit to be crushed by stupid people who expect them to be like everyone else.
One other thing I insist on for myself and my students is there are to be no apologies for the way we paint, no self punishment for work that doesn't measure up in our own mind. My studio is a place of self fullfillment and safety. We must celebrate the work we do and forgive ourselves for mistakes. I give myself and my students permission to paint poorly at any given time without regret. I'm not always on my game. I wake up everyday with joy because I am a painter. I paint to the best of my ability and knowledge each day and give it 100%. If that is not good enough then too bad!!