Setup, Wallkill River School, originally uploaded by ahtravis.
The nicest thing about teaching for me is that one really is just preaching to the converted. In a workshop only those persons interested in my work and method of painting sign up so I need to do very little convincing. The person who pays money to attend will in all likelihood already be invested in what she is paying money to learn.
After an instructor controls for workshop numbers and possibly previous experience of participants she has a wonderful day working with painters who in addition to learning themselves go on to inspire and teach the teacher!
Sunday I had just such a wonderful day! I conducted a workshop at the Wallkill River School, Montgomery, NY. The workshop was attended by skilled watercolor painters who also happen to be former WRS colleagues, a collector of my work, and two additional painters who I now feel are friends.
Wow! What gorgeous work we made! The stated aim of any workshop of mine is to paint with abandon. And we did indeed, paint with abandon, creating 2-3 paintings each in each three hour session.
To create our “kitchen” paintings a large selection of fruits and vegetables were piled in the middle of the table. We painted from easels placed on all sides of the setup. After painting madly for 3 hours we broke for lunch, then painted into exhaustion until 3:30 or 4:00. The session was to have lasted until 4:30 but we could hardly lift a brush an hour before.
In the end I was as inspired by my students as they were of me. I was awed by their drippy, colorful shapes. “Loose” was our guiding principal and almost every painting reached that goal. What a day!
gosh- teaching can be absolutely the best when it goes well, no? sounds really intense and fun.