Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rule Breaker

I just returned home from my odyssey of three workshops in four weeks. I'm a bit tired but at the same time renewed and excited to get back in the studio for a bit.

I had so many memorable and even life altering experiences on my trip that I'll sure to be writing about them for quite some time! One of the things that stand out for me is my demo for the Pastel Painters of Maine. I decided to make it a fun two hours and do some variations from my 100 series. I made this decision last minute when sitting alone having breakfast at a little cafe called All Day Breakfast in Kennebunk. The demo was my last obligation before I headed home, so I wanted it to be good. As I sat and ate my eggs all alone and anxious to be back home, I took out my trusty ball point pen and sketched a variation on a napkin. Then I wrote next to it, "Finding a familiar place far from home". That sealed the deal. Variations for the demo, it would be! How could I do anything else?

The demo had an amazing turn out of guests. Folks from as far as New York drove into Kennebunk to attend. I was very honored! I did a little intro, telling the group a bit about my journey as an artist and then chatted a bit about my pastels and other materials I use.  Then, I dove into the pieces in my customary, "decide as I go" fashion. These pieces are so liberating for me and at the same time, a place of familiarity and solace.

As I was painting and explaining my thought process one of the attendees ask, "Do you consider yourself a rule breaker" Ha, ha ha!!! I turned around and smiled, "Yes, that's what artists do". I went on to say that I build myself playgrounds with good solid foundations, then play safely inside them. Well, sometimes not so safely, but you get the idea. All the stuff we can learn in art school, in books and from workshops is just the beginning. From there you put it all in the soup and stir well.

Thanks to PPOM for making my stay so special! It was fun being in the "other" Portland!

I also want to thank students from Pennsylvania, Raleigh and Traverse City, who wrote notes and emails. Thanks so, so much for all your feedback and kind words. It truly makes it all worthwhile!

Portland, Maine
My feet in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time! Thanks Ellen!

A couple more practical notes. I've been using "the square" for credit card purchases on the road, and it works like a charm. Such a handy little gadget.

I'll be headed to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, Co, July 6,7 and 8. I'll be featuring my figurative interiors at the show. 

Be sure to check out the new book Sketchbook Confidential 2. I'm in it! Regardless of my own presence, the book is a really cool peak into the private sketchbooks of 38 professional artists.

And the very big news is that I will be opening up a studio/classroom space for workshops and ongoing classes. I will have a drawing night and a painting night and special intensives mixed in. I will be offering classes to high school and serious middle school students one afternoon a week. My usual workshop offerings will be sprinkled in throughout the year. I hope to have things up and running no later than September. More on this to come!

1 comment:

Margaret S Milligan said...

I wish I'd been there, it all sounds wonderful, stuck over in bonny (rainy)Scotland!