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WHAT GOES ON IN A WORKSHOP?
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Be it a 2, 3 or 5 day class, I like to start each workshop with a basic presentation of what will be offered. A picture is worth a thousand words and watching a picture being painted is worth even more. So each day will begin with a demonstration. I usually start with some fairly basic procedures and briskly move on to more complex problems involving tone, color, light and composition. My demonstrations are seldom longer than 2 hours, with some of the more diagrammatic ones taking as little as a half hour. This means you will be painting more than me.
Depending on the length and focus of the particular class, subjects covered usually include still life, landscape and people (putting them in your pictures, not portraits). Obviously a 2 day class condenses the itinerary while a 5 day project can explore more comprehensive ideas. Either way, most everybody who has worked with me feels satisfied with the completeness of the experience.
A typical day would start with a demonstration, either indoors or out, ending around mid morning. Students then begin painting. We take a lunch break around noon and the class continues painting for the remainder of the day. Getting to know each student individually is an important part of my approach. So I work my way from student to student throughout day passing on information, suggesting methods or offering new techniques. I always ask before working on a students painting. Past experience has taught me that steamrolling over the tentative efforts of a student struggling with a problem often undermines the solving of the problem that might have resulted autonomously. But there are occasional 911 situations where only the teacher has a chance of saving the painting. And dont forget, all mediums are welcome. Check out my online galleries devoted to oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolor. I also enjoy pastel and draw a lot in a various mediums.
I am not a regimented person. Trusting my intuition has served me well, so I hesitate to describe EXACTLY what goes on in my classes. What I can tell you is youll be painting at least one picture a day, sometime two. Youll be asked to forget everything you know for the duration of the class and trust me. This is particularly difficult for more advanced students. Youll find the atmosphere completely NONCOMPETITIVE. I give no awards for the best of anything. You can all be winners so long as you paint with honesty and arent afraid of taking some risks. For 2 or 3 day workshops I sometime have a class critique at the end of the day. For longer sessions, the entire afternoon of the last day is spent giving a class critique. If conditions are favorable, I give a slide show. Sometime the class gets together for diner in the evening. All these variables depend on the make up, needs and wishes of the group.
It can be helpful, but not mandatory, to read my books to become familiar with my point of view. Sometimes too much information can take the edge off a unique way of seeing things, and thats what its all about.
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