I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of talented artists in my career, but I’ve never had the opportunity to learn from as many top painters as I will have during the American Artist Weekend With the Masters (WWM) at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center from September 9 to 13. The event will provide an extraordinary opportunity to meet master artists and special guests during four days of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and social events. Staff members from three of our corporate offices have done an incredible job of making sure this will be a rewarding and memorable experience for everyone involved. In particular, Senior Editor Allison Malafronte has organized the educational program out of a sense of mission and determination, and Event Manager Karen Keegan has managed every detail of the convention.
One of the things that strikes me about this special event is how 21st-century technology is being used to bring attention to art materials, techniques, and styles of painting that have been in use for more than four centuries. Information about the educational program and registration process is being provided over the internet; promotional material is being distributed through e-newsletters and online social networks like myAmericanArtist.com, Facebook, and Twitter; and participants will be flying to Colorado Springs from all over the world. Once everyone sets up their easels or takes a seat in the auditorium, they will be watching artists use bristle brushes, earth colors, linen canvas, vine charcoal, linseed oil, rag paper, and sketchbooks—all of which have been available to artists for hundreds of years.
The event will also reinforce the idea that art instruction is now available through one-on-one conversation with an experienced teacher as well as through DVDs, magazines, books, websites, internet videos, and blogs. That means the artists who are fortunate enough to enjoy master artist John Salminen’s wit, wisdom, and personal attention during the Weekend With the Masters can solidify that valuable instruction by purchasing one of the two DVDs he has produced with Creative Catalyst Productions.
I have watched most of the WWM instructors interact with students, and I have played their DVD programs, so I know firsthand what a dramatic impact Joseph McGurl, David A. Leffel, Mary Whyte, Jeremy Lipking, Timothy J. Clark, Susan Lyon, Jacob Collins, and the other masters can have on aspiring artists. There are many other great teachers, and we hope to bring more of them together at future events, but this is an extraordinary first effort on the part of the master artists, the staff of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and the team of organizers at the magazine.
M. Stephen Doherty