When people are encouraged to be more creative than imitative in their art making, their true nature, style, and voice are free to explore. I offer these examples as proof.
I just returned from conducting two one week workshops in Santa Barbara, CA sponsored by Ruth Ellen Hoag at the Whistle Stop Gallery. The works shown are the efforts of the students in the second week workshop. I haven’t included the paintings from students first week-sorry for that oversight.
For many years my teaching followed the usual instructive workshop template. The days were divided between demonstrations, lectures, and critiques. My present approach in my ‘mentored’ workshops is to spend much more time in individual consultations with the artists. Now there are generally two demonstrations per week were I share concepts of identifying and building dominance and tension within compositions, and two group critiques.
The most exciting revelation in the group critiques is the vast variety of styles and approaches among the different artists. Most of the time during the workshop is devoted to private conversations geared toward clarifying the artists intention, goals and finding effective ways to express it. I have found that the bigger and more inclusive the concepts are, the easier it is for an artist to find their own style and subject.
My thanks to every student in theSanta Barbara class, and every class I teach, for their willingness to explore possibilities rather than seeking formulas for predictable success. It takes courage to let go of familiar safe habits and try things. The results are surprising and inspiring and very rewarding. I am always thrilled and excited by the work produced in these workshops.
Sampling of Student Works from Santa Barbara Workshop March 2018