We recently asked a couple artists who have taken workshops at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio (WIFAS) to answer a few questions for us about our classes. Pam Leiper jumped at the chance to tell us how she has benefitted from her WIFAS art instruction experiences. You can read what she has to share about our classes and her resulting growth as an artist in the interview below.
Q: Which workshop at WIFAS have you recently attended?
A: I have taken two workshops at Whidbey, a figure drawing workshop with Henry Yan in 2012, and an oil painting workshop with Dreama Perry in 2013.
Q: What did you find most helpful about the art instruction you received at the workshop?
A: My first passion is figures, so my workshop with Henry Yan was inspirational. It was five days of heaven. I tend to labor over my figures, and Henry can capture the pose even with the quickest sketches. He has exceptional control using his razor sharp charcoal pencils, and he demonstrated beautiful techniques to soften shadow shapes. I would take his class again and again until I achieve the same skill in my own life drawings.
Q: Did you learn any new techniques or were you reminded of old ones in a new way in the workshop?
A: I do enjoy painting in oils, however I tend to make 'mud' with color. Dreama's palette is always fresh and she has lovely brush work, so I thought her workshop would help me with my own oils. She provided a very fun three day experience, as fun, nourishing and colorful as she is. She demonstrated her technique of laying down transparent color first, then covering with colorful opaques and controlled but bold brushwork. This has been useful for me, and I've been practicing this technique since the workshop.
Q: What did you appreciate most about the setup or structure of the workshop?
A: Cary Jurriaans always does a great job organizing the WIFAS studio space. There was ample room to paint, easel space is allotted democratically, and she always has lovely refreshments on hand.
Q: Were you inspired to paint a particular image during or after the workshop?
A: Since Henry's workshop, I continue to work on figures. I haven't mastered his technique… but will keep trying. Since Dreama's, I have tried a few oils.
Q: Could you share a highlight from your experience at WIFAS— either from the workshop or your time on Whidbey Island?
A: The WIFAS studio is located in the very picturesque village of Langley on Whidbey Island. It is such a tranquil and gorgeous setting— how can an artist not be inspired? My husband and wee dog accompanied me this last time. We splurged and stayed at the dog-friendly Langley Inn. I would return to WIFAS again and again just to visit the Island.
Q: Are you planning on attending any other workshops with WIFAS in the near future?
A: I will definitely return. I'll just keep an eye on the upcoming calendar!