Different people attend painting workshops with varying expectations, but the ones who get the most out of the experience are those who recognize that workshops are not:
|A workshop gives you the opportunity to start at one point in your artistic journey and
walk through your own passage to the other side. Passage by Steve Henderson,
30 x 40, oil painting, also available as note cards.
1) Silver bullets – They won’t slay the werewolves of everything you’ve been doing wrong, allowing you to kick aside your canvas and walk forward, free of all doubts and insecurities.
2) Miracle pills – Swallowing every word the oil painting instructor says and slavishly copying his or her technique will not turn you, or your art, into this person.
3) The route to a doctoral dissertation – This is a one to five day class, and it can’t exhaustively cover everything.
4) A panacea – Nothing is a one size fits all magic potion.
These are what workshops are not. Here are some things that they can be:
1) Jumping cables – Have you been stuck in the driveway with a dead battery and don’t know where to go with your art? A workshop can give you ideas, new direction, and energy to get moving again.
2) A Thai restaurant dinner – A good instructor has great ingredients that he or she stir fries into a hot, spicy, complex entrée that you inhale, with ice water, because there’s a lot to absorb in a little time.
3) An afternoon with PlayDoh – Punch it, pummel it, shape it, let yourself go and try out the techniques that the instructor is demonstrating. The goal is not to produce a finished painting that you can sell, but to try and learn something new and different, especially while the person who knows more about it than you do is right there in front of you to give you feedback.
Excited? That’s a great attitude to walk into the room with.
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.