How to Choose a Workshop

Q. I am having trouble finding and choosing a workshop. Can you suggests things to look for or places to search for workshops?

A. The first thing you should do to get the most out of a workshop is to choose an instructor whose work you admire. If you find an artist with whom you really want to study, workshops can be a wonderful, growth-inducing experience (as opposed to going to a workshop with just any teacher because you’ll be painting in some faraway exotic place).

Once you see work you admire, you may have to track the artist down to find out if he or she conducts workshops. Try checking the classified section of art magazines like Watercolor Magic or The Artist’s Magazine (or check The Artist’s Magazine’s workshop listing online). If you can’t find the artist in either of these places, contact the gallery that represents him or her (or the magazine that featured the artist) and request the artist’s street address, e-mail address or Web site address. Then, write, e-mail or go online to find out if the artist teaches workshops.

OK, now you’ve found your mentor. What’s in store? Expect a week of being with your favorite artist/instructor, watching every move he or she makes, asking questions, taking notes, drinking it all in! You’ll be with other artists and you’ll learn things from them as well. A week of making art, talking art, sleeping art and being art is what to expect—it’s truly a wonderful experience!

Depending on the workshop, everything usually is arranged for you, except maybe your transportation (although some workshops have a set price for the whole enchilada). Accommodations, meals and the like, are generally included if the workshop is longer than a week. Naturally, the cost of each workshop varies.

Esteemed as an artist and beloved as a teacher, Jessica Zemsky has influenced countless painters, old and young.

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