Friday, May 22, 2015

Why take a workshop by Liana Bennett and something about Max Ginsburg.

My friend Liana Bennett wrote the following an article on workshops, scroll down.
 Liana runs the 'Arts Umbrella' in Bothell and she was my first art instructor.  

We  went to the Portrait Society Convention in Atlanta together. It was so much fun!
Apart from the cocktail hour conversation with other artists, great food and camaraderie,
I learned a lot from Liana's knowledgeable observations and she immediately picked out the one painting that she thought was the best in the juried show. It was by Max Ginsburg's 'The Beggar' (
Well, didn't you know it, he won the Grand William Draper Prize! 
We are so lucky, he wants to come to Whidbey Island next year to teach a workshop! We are going to be doing less workshops next year and want to try and get the best of the best in representational art.

My feeling when looking at this painting  is very strong, not only is he a very adept and skilled painter, but he also captures an enormous emotional response.

It was such an inspiring time, to spend time with hundreds of  artists, talk art and breathe art.
I wish I could do some magic and go back to my twenties, I know what I would be doing!
In the 60's in Holland there was no foundational art education to be found.
So lucky, that it was available in Seattle when the children were gone and I had time.

"I'm taking two workshops this year at the Whidbey Island Fine Arts Studio. Cary Jurriaans is the founder and has been a a good friend of mine for many years. She has worked hard to bring many of the finest artists in the country, and elsewhere in the world to Whidbey Island. I have taken advantage of being able to learn from artists I admire and watch them work over the years.

Why take a workshop? It costs so much money. I may not learn anything. Will everyone be better than me? What if I don't produce anything of worth? I'm sure I'll hear the same things over and over again. What if it isn't what I want it to be? I'm afraid.

Yes, it may be some of those things, or ALL of those things.

Let me tell you why I take a workshop:

Oftentimes, it's my vacation. I get to spend 5 days, morning to evening, painting - while everything else if taken care of. No worries, I just get to show up. I also get to know other artists, both local and from around the country, who all have the same passion for art. Some of these artists will be further along in experience, some a few steps behind.

Getting to see an amazing artist at work. Maybe they say something you've heard a million times, but this time it clicks and you're ready to integrate it into your process. Maybe a fellow artist offers insights and inspiration.

Will you see the results of your time spent at workshop right away? I think it bubbles up over time and creeps in when you least expect it. Sometimes it just opens doors you didn't know were there - a new way of doing things, a color added to your palette. It's those small things that add up over the years to customize our individual process. A workshop can also make you realize what you don't want!

If you do take a workshop, keep your mind open and adapt your painting process to the instructor for that period of time. I've seen many artists spend money, only to stubbornly stick to their palette and process, and then wonder why their results are not to their liking, and grumble that they didn't get anything out of it.

Pick a workshop of an artist who has a style you admire and be a sponge. You will come away with something. What better way to spend a week!"

Liana Bennett
Bothell WA