Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Why I Love Teaching

Summer sucked, but teaching art workshops helped! You haven't seen a post or new paintings for awhile because of some medical issues. As my husband Mike said, my body was needing a tuneup to go for the next 100,000 miles!

Having the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills with other people interested in creating art is a real joy for me. So between Dr. appointments, melanoma removal and surgery, I was able to share my years of painting experience with a couple of groups willing to have me as an instructor. This helped me breeze through the summer of mending my body.

One thing I have to offer as an instructor is thinking outside of the box of traditional watercolors:

As I have matured as an artist, I have moved away from painting what my eyes see toward painting what my brain sees. The result is paintings that have a mix of abstract and realism, but are full of content. In my workshops with working artists, I bring materials that I enjoy using, such as hand crafted stamps and collage materials. Being able to share my own approach to making art helps me develop further in my own journey. The demonstration below utilized much of my own materials that helped me break free from the restrictions of traditional watercolor.

To create this abstract, I used both stamps and collage material to create interest and texture.

After my demo, I put out lots of collage papers and stamp making materials for the participants. I work with artists encouraging them to break out of their comfort zone, which I believe adds an authenticity to their work.

These two calligraphers have the skill of adding beautifully crafted words to their art.

At the end of this workshop, I challenged these participants to continue to pushing themselves. Keep asking "What If?"

Another way I rock as an instructor is sharing the thrill of applying watercolor paint to paper:

A totally different experience was teaching a group ranging from beginners to experienced artists. It is so exciting to just watch what the paint can do. We explored the fun of blending colors, to adding pen and ink, to working on a sheet with background colors.

I received the biggest "wow" moment when I lifted a cloud from a wet blue sky with a tissue. I went on in this demo to throw on some salt and small pieces of saran wrap.

This quick demo included lifting, salt, and saran wrap.
After that there was a lot of enthusiasm for creating texture.

At the end of the workshop, creating greeting cards as a way to utilize their new found skills, was a fun way to wrap things up.

A special part of this workshop was having my sister, Janice, as an art assistant and roommate. 

So now as we enter the next season of Autumn, I have had my tuneup and am ready to run reliably for the next 100,000 miles.