Several years ago I wrote an article in one of my newsletters about why one should sign up for a workshop. Today, I am updating my thoughts and publishing them here, in my blog. I still strongly believe that a signing up for a workshop is a special gift that you can give to yourself, and I am presenting six reasons for doing this:
When I ask other artists, or my students, if they are interested in taking a workshop, the most common response is, “Why do I need a workshop? I’m already in a class!” My answer is that classes and workshops are very different. Classes make up a small component of your busy day. I watch students run off to meetings and lunches and doctor appointments. The magical calm of the class is evaporated even before he or she is out my door. A workshop, on the other hand, offers a dedicated block of time for painting, away from the stresses of ordinary life. The additional hours allotted to painting each day make it possible for you to nurture your own creative abilities in a way that is not feasible in class. Workshops nudge you into “the zone” for artistic growth.
Workshops are comprised of small groups of like-minded students, where you will be painting, eating and living together during the week. Workshops give you the opportunity to network with other artists. During this time, workshop artists will be learning from each other and supporting each other. Often, long-lasting friendships are made based on these shared experiences.
As a workshop participant, you will be learning in a small, comfortable environment. You will be challenged, excited and pushed out of your comfort zone. Workshops help you grow as an artist. Experienced painters may achieve new artistic “highs”, while beginner painters will find the workshop to be a nurturing place with plenty of individual attention.
Workshops offer a dedicated block of time for intense artistic study. Workshops are able to stimulate your creativity in new and positive ways. For artists who have “hit a wall”, their creative energies can be recharged. Only through a daily influx of intensive painting can an artistic block be shattered and creative spirits renewed.
Often workshops are located in different locations, offering the students an opportunity to travel to new sites. One of the workshops that I teach each summer is located in southern Vermont in the rustic Landgrove Inn. Nestled in a small valley within the Green Mountain National Park, the Inn offers unsurpassed scenery and superb facilities in its InView Center for the Arts studio. Workshop participants have an amazing opportunity to paint new sights and scenes.
Finally, artists will enjoy a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the workshop. Each workshop is a prescribed period of time, during which there is a natural ebb and flow to the study of fine arts. By the time the workshop has come to an end, participants will have mastered some new skills and completed tasks and paintings. My summer Vermont workshop has a student art show on its final evening. I love seeing the proud faces of artists holding up their paintings as I snap some photos…each one smiling and saying, “I did it!”
This will be my sixth year teaching a workshop at the Landgrove Inn in southern Vermont. My workshop is watercolor with yoga, and it is designed for beginner and intermediate painters (Monday, July 25th, through Thursday, July 28th, 2016). There are still some seats left if you ‘d like to join us. For more information, call my studio at 973.403.9374, or log onto my website at www.margiesamuelswatercolor.com.