Monday, February 2, 2015

Hosting a Workshop in January

     Normally, you need to schedule a workshop months in advance. Scheduling for January is always tricky. Especially on Cape Cod. Is anyone around in the deep of winter? If so, will they be willing to come out in the cold weather? Will it snow and get canceled?
    The ride down the first day had snow in the forecast.... great! I took my husband's truck with four wheel drive and made the trek down there. Snow turned to rain. I saw a spin out, but with not much traffic on my side of the expressway, I made it there in no time without incident.
     I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my workshop filled at the Cape Cod Art Association. I had a bunch of nice ladies joining me to work really hard for two days.
     Each day, I started the workshop with a demo giving out a ton of information. The first day was longer and more involved than the second, since I wanted them to have more time to work on their own portraits. After stopping for a quick lunch, we all came back and the students all began their own portraits.
     Day one, we had Joanna sit. She was a Ann Hathaway look alike. A dancer, she held the most delicate pose. Unfortunately, I had to ask her to sit looking straight ahead to make my instruction clear. I added a black back round to offset her very light completion. It is easier to paint a lot of contrast than very subtle differences. Everyone stood as close to the model as we could manage and began using a limited palette.
   Everyone seemed to catch on pretty quickly. Questions asked were perfect to make my instruction more clear. By the end of the afternoon, everyone did a great job for only painting for 2 hours.
   The next day was sunny. I was so happy having to drive such a long distance....until I found the sun blaring right into my eyes, made worse by the glare from the wet road! I was happy to arrive!
   This time, we had Cherise sit. A jazz singer and polar opposite from our first model with a beautiful olive completion and stunning dark hair. I changed the back round to a lighter grey.
   I started with a shorter demo, repeating much of what I said the first day so it would set in or they would catch something they missed before. I wanted to have everyone work most of the day to finish this portrait. I made sure everyone took a different spot to insure no one stayed in the best/worst spot both days. After experiencing the first day's painting, the students knew what I was getting at and all began painting.
   Again, it was a successful day of painting. Not a bad portrait in the room. Everyone was beaming. It was worth the stress of coming out in the deep of winter. Everyone learned a lot and they all told me they were pleased with the workshop. I was tired when I left, but relieved it all went so well. I was leaving for Florida the next day and could begin to think about it.
   So the next time you are wondering if you should sign up for a class in the middle of winter, ask yourself what else would you do? Go for it and spend a weekend with some great people and learn something!

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