I deliberately entitled this post using a word that I have eliminated from my vocabulary: Should.
|Like sunrise to a new day, the right workshop can lead you to fresh
new beginnings in your art pursuits. Awakening by Steve Henderson,
24 x 40, oil painting, also available as note cards.
Too often we do things not because they are right for our particular situation, or because we are grown ups and can use the words “want to” without sounding like recalcitrant toddlers, but because we have this vague idea that others–who know more than we do–expect certain behavior.
Workshops are great little animals; my own Norwegian artist, Steve Henderson, regularly teaches them, and his students, depending upon why they are there and how they approach the opportunity, move forward in widely divergent fashions.
Some people are serial workshop takers, collecting the names of their numerous oil painting instructors like knitters stash yarn. Others are there for the first time, glancing covertly at everyone’s brushes and paint tubes and specialized plastic art boxes and convincing themselves that they are the only ones there who know absolutely nothing.
The best students, and the ones who leave most satisfied, are confident enough in themselves to realize that everyone does things differently, but humble enough to recognize that there is much good in trying something new. These students are here, not because they feel they ought to be, but because they want to be. Tthey listen with an open mind, ask pointed questions, absorb the answers given to not only their own questions, but to the questions of others, and use the limited workshop time to its full advantage. They’re taking the workshop because they like the instructor’s work and want to hear more about how he/she accomplishes it.
Should you take a workshop? Misleading question. Do you want to?
Carolyn Henderson is the manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She is a weekly columnist for Fine Art News, a division of Canvoo, and writes a lifestyle column, Middle Aged Plague, that is published online and in print newspapers throughout the country.
Describing herself as “small, insignificant, and ordinary,” Carolyn writes for and about normal, everyday people, who are not small and insignificant at all.