Saturday, April 16, 2011

Changing Your Scenery

Every year since my mother passed away three years ago now, I have taken a workshop in the spring.  I feel it honors her memory since she was so supportive of my art.  And I believe her spirit goes with me on these adventures.  Each one has brought some new insight that has added to my experience as an artist. I take this time to reevaluate, rejuvenate and find new focus and insight. 

This year I traveled to Chicago to take a workshop at the well known Palette & Chisel downtown.  I have always wanted to take classes or workshops there since I lived in the area years ago.  Now that my son lives in the city, I had a place to stay and I took advantage of that. 

This workshop was a week long.  Longer than any of the others I have taken.  I also chose a workshop  with an artist I was not too familiar with but whose reputation was amazing.  I could not imagine the breadth of what I would experience. 

Her name is Mary Whyte.  ( I learned of her through a DVD I bought randomly on painting portraits in watercolor.  I liked how she worked and I wanted to begin to focus on my portrait work and I have to say-the Palette and Chisel was part of the draw!  But I did not really know the extent of her talent or reach.  Nor how I would grow in such a short time.

Some workshops you attend leave some feeling "why did I spend all that money when I already knew that?"  I have not had that experience yet and this proved more than I could have imagined.  Mary was a wealth of information.  So much so that I took copious notes and still feel I could have used another week.  While I have been doing watercolor a long time and have most of the technique down, what I learned was more about the less concrete side of my art.  Focus and Concept chiefly among much else.

I won't bore you with the details just yet-I'll have more to say in future blogs-but I want to encourage you to step outside your comfort zone.  If you take classes from me, take them from someone else to learn something different or see a different way of doing things.  Give yourself the gift of nurturing your creativity.  Mine the gold from each source you can find.  Much of your digging may yield tailing's, but there is always a nugget you can find to add to your knowledge.  Occasionally, like this week for me, you hit the mother load!

Not only was it worth the cost, time and frustration of driving in downtown Chicago (a blog all it's own!), but my change of scenery gave me the awesome chance to visit and spend evenings with my oldest and his girlfriend.  I won in every way this time!! 

I will post more thoughts on what I gleaned and encourage my fellow creative's with what was shared by the others I met and the experience of being with a tribe of like minded creatives'!