Sunday, October 18, 2020

Three Days at Menucha--Refreshing

One might ask, " How do you get your life back on track after your house burns down?" For me, teaching a 3-day workshop at Menucha Retreat and Convention Center was a good start. As this beautiful spot struggles through the pandemic, they are offering us artists a spot to create safely.

View of the Columbia River the evening of arrival

Teaching and sharing art with other artists is one of the joys of my life. Menucha's ability to create a way to stay safe with social distancing made this the first in person art event I've been part of for months. Six other artists joined me for the workshop and I am thankful.

I had been struggling to get photos organized enough on my new laptop to present some slideshows during the workshop. * tip:  If a fire is coming your way, grab your computer!*  Fortunately, my blogposts were so helpful. Once again I realized that blogging has documented my life since 2007. Retrieving posts from past blogs allowed me to access photos of paintings and presentations of designs and techniques.

Untitled, 14 x 22, Mixed Media

On the first day I started this floral to show one way of using watercolor, collage and patterns to create an interesting floral painting with a cruciform (cross shape) beginning. As the day ended, I began adding the black here and there, then almost everywhere. I soon realized I had brought the fire and broken pieces of my life into this painting. The last thing I did was carefully cut two burned leaves to float in from the left hand corner into the blue skies--which I hope will be ahead of me.

Because I do not teach in a step by step method, I delight in seeing the various ways participants express themselves in art making.

One thing I like to promote is the idea that a painting that has been "put in the drawer" can be taken out and given new life. It may not become a masterpiece, but there are always ways to fix and improve a painting.

On this day we created stamps, which I enjoy because a stamp is a way to add a personal touch to any painting. For this heron painting I made a stamp with a branch and leaves to extend the willow tree idea further into the painting. I also lifted some of the heavier colors, improved the shape of the heron, and put some yellow behind the heron and the tree. I think the heron and his feathery self stands out more now, and after all, he is the star of this show!

On the last day of the workshop, the sun came out and Menucha appeared in its finest, where things are green and blooming!

I am very thankful for the place, the people and the respite.

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