Three down one to go ….
I don’t know about you but my summer is flying by.
The studio has firmly become a haven – the difference it’s made to my work has surprised and delighted me. It’s become part of the house but at the same time is very much an art studio, a creative space. I can nip in into the kitchen next door so that there’s no FOMO 🙂 and I can also nip back again into the studio to hide?
Picasso is the attributed author of the quote “The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away”.
That brings me to another important function of the studio. It is as a space for classes and workshops. I love teaching, it’s so satisfying to watch artistic growth. I’ve held three workshops in the new studio so far and I’m planning another one in September.
Two years ago I took part in a Professional Development Programme. We covered everything from planning exhibitions, photographing work, legal and financial considerations to executing a personal project. My dissertation explored the idea of teaching an academic system but breaking it down into very manageable, digestible chunks for everyone. The project was to appeal to every level of experience from absolute beginners to the advanced painter.
Many of the artists that I’ve come across want to take their painting up a level from the leisure artist or Sunday painter, but for many reasons cannot or don’t want to attend a full time course. There are or course summer or spring courses that are usually held abroad and are expensive. These centres can also pack ‘em in – I was once at a workshop where there were 31 attendees!
This is where I come in! I’ve invested a huge amount of time and energy attending workshops in Florence amongst other centres. I’ve collated all this valuable information and packaged it into easily absorbed modules to bring to my studio.
I have now taken this experience from Dubai and brought it home to Ireland and I’m very pleased that so far so good. I break the process right down and because the classes are small, (usually six participants) no one falls through the cracks
I just love the joy in participants when they realise that painting a portrait need not be a tortuous exercise (well I hope they don’t find it too tortuous ?) I believe that anyone can paint well once they are shown how and that they trust the process – and me!
I top up my experience by regularly attending workshops myself. I have become very focussed when applying for these and only attend where I think it will enhance my practice. The mistake that I often see (and I did it myself at the start of my journey) is where students jump from course to course, taking a scattergun approach which only serves to confuse and frustrate a painter.
The last classes for the year in Ardmore will be held in September. If you’d like to be put on the list, let me know. As well as painting – we stop for coffee and chat, it’s great to exchange ideas and just absorb the creative energy. So, three down and one to go – an enjoyable, creative, productive AND sociable morning.