21 February 2010
My very first workshop
At the request of the San Gabriel Fine Art Association, I conducted my very first workshop with five "students". It was a two day affair. The first day we painted at the Arboretum while I talked about my every thought for three hours. It was exhausting. It was a cloudy day so we did a low-key painting and discussed selecting subjects , materials , the paradox of overworking the areas we want to focus on and how the fastest paintings are those which have no mistakes. We created thumbnails, used red gels and all kinds of devices to aid our thought process. Mostly it was about the importance of thinking before starting to lay paint.
The second day it was the turn of Liz, Barbara and Rod to try out the new techniques...I chose an urban/gritty setting and so we all launched into our paintings. As expected, there was a bit of initial fear and fumbling because it is hard to break old habits or merely try new approaches but slowly things started to happen....and each persons' style found its way . I think style finds us and not the other way around, we just need to stop worrying about "finding" it and experiment, be playful with it and even try to go against it just for kicks, for example copying the masters. That is the role of workshops and classes, to exercise our "alternatives" so we can come back to our style.
Most importantly, I think we all had a lot of fun despite the light showers, blustery winds and graffiti artists in the alleys. Some of them even paused to admire something other than spray painted walls for a change.