Sunday, March 15, 2015

Choosing Art Workshops: This was for fun

Whether you are a beginning or advanced artist, there are many workshop opportunities to expand your art knowledge, learn techniques, improve design and composition, or dig deeper for emotional content. When I was a beginning artist, I could make use of almost any information from a workshop, because, as a beginner, I was still searching for my own voice and my own art language and honing my skills. As I progressed and became more clear on what I had to say in my own creations, I began to realize that some workshops derailed me from my own trajectory. I would get overly influenced by a more advanced/professional artist and loose my way for awhile. It could take months to come back to my own original art-making.

Consequently, I have begun to limit myself to workshops that are: 1) mentoring in style, 2) teaching a method or technique that I already employ, 3) offering just plain fun. The marbling workshop I took from Liz Walker the past 2 days fits in the latter category. Marbling is not only fun, I now have a stack of papers to use in collage, for decorative purposes such as cards, and some to play around with as exercises with negative painting.  

The two paintings to the right, were part of day one's lesson. Liz let us choose a couple of already marbled papers to play with as she showed us ways of using a whole piece to create a painting, mostly by negative painting around the areas we wanted to keep as purely marbled. In one piece, I saw faces and figures. In the other I just wanted to preserve and enhance the beautiful marbling so I worked on a nonobjective painting.

By day two, all the workshop participants had prepared many pieces of papers to marble, which is its own process and needs to be done a day ahead of the actual marbling. After watching Liz show us several different methods of using the marbling technique, we were like horses at the starting line itching to begin.

Below are some of the examples of my own marbling. I have to tell you that I have a lot to learn and a lot of practicing to do before I could produce the kinds of papers you would buy in the art stores!

Another thing we did was marble over old paintings or starts of paintings that were either failures or uninteresting. Here are a couple examples of marbling over my own pre-painted surfaces.

There are a number of Oregon artists who very successfully take a marbled paper and create a unique piece of art by seeing subject matter in the paper, creating an abstract piece from the marbling or select parts of a paper to marble, leaving the pre-painted subject matter of the paper.

If you are interested in seeing original art using the marbling technique, check out these websites.,,

Remember my earlier comment about getting derailed? That is why I will stow away my stack of lovelies for awhile and return to the art I am already in the process of creating. The marbling will have to wait and integrate itself into my own voice and language, but boy did I have fun!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

this looks like it was a lot of fun! and you are right about choosing workshops that won't "derail" your work. I've had far too many of those in the past!