Tomorrow is the first of three days of my Nature Sketching Workshop. It's described like this on the Ashland Parks and Recreation website:
There are 3 open spaces left, and you can still get into the workshop by contacting me, so if that interests you and you live in the Ashland, Medford vicinity, come join us!
I've been getting my materials together for the workshop, and I'm really looking forward to meeting my new students tomorrow morning. I'm hoping I can get down to the store today to buy an electric teakettle to make tea with, because I'll be taking a big assortment of teabags (we can make tea in the classroom microwave, but it seems to taste better if you do it with a teakettle ~ go figure!). A cuppa makes a workshop more warm and comfortable, somehow, especially when you have a whole group of strangers meeting for the first time.
My workshops draw an extremely varied group of artists and artist "wannabes." It's fun working with the already-artists, and I really enjoy and respect the "wannabes" for their courageous foray into the world of sketching and drawing ~ it takes a certain amount of guts to get from the "I can't draw a straight line" to the "...but I want to learn how."
Actually, I don't teach straight line drawing [grin]. That's what rulers are for. I teach how to translate what you see in front of you into a line on the paper that really LOOKS like what you are trying to draw. And then how to put shading and shadows on it that give it shape and 3-dimensionality ~ then how to give it pizzazz with color. And with the techniques I've developed over the years, I can almost always find a way to transmit that information to even the least developed artist (sometimes it takes more than one try to find the right words or techniques to transmit the idea to an individual, but I'll keep trying as long as the student is willing).
Interestingly, my workshops usually draw highly accomplished artists as well as beginners. You'd think the two wouldn't mix, but I've noticed that artists at all levels can benefit from discovering just WHAT they are doing when they apply their pencil/pen/brush to the paper, and WHY it works or doesn't work. And HOW to make it work if it doesn't. And that's what we cover in the first class with some right-brain applications to drawing natural items, and tips and tricks to shading. In the second and third classes, we enlarge the scope and capabilities with landscapes and later with watercolor pencils. Everyone proceeds at their own level of expertise, and the workshops end with satisfied artists, still at all levels, but each ready to take the next step up. I've learned SOMETHING from every workshop or art class I've ever taught, so we all benefit.
So, like I said, I'm rarin' to go, eager to meet my new friends. And I'm almost packed up to go (yeah, yeah, I know my classroom's only 10 miles down the road, but I've got lots of goodies to take for the class, so it does require a bit of packing).
And that's today's blog. I'll report on the first class within a couple of days. If I'm not too pooped to pop tomorrow evening, I'll try to put something up.
Actually, I just called The Daniel, and he says I may borrow his camera for the class (if you recall, mine went missing at the airport on my return from my last Costa Rica Sketching/Journaling Workshop). I like to take pictures of what happens during my workshops.
So if it all works out, if I can figure out the camera, if my students will give me permission to put their pictures on the blog, you shall see some results soon.