It is going to be 5 days of intensive portrait painting. Even though Kelly and I have different styles (and that's a good thing) we both approach art and teaching in the same type of manner. It is not about coming away from a class with alot of finished beautiful pieces, although that can indeed happen, but rather to stretch yourself creatively and be willing to have some set backs. Learning something new takes time and practice and it is often the struggle that will bring you the most satisfaction if you just keep at it.
I went to a workshop in Scotland in October. I got really, really sick and I was out of my comfort zone. Gillian had us sketching outside and my lack of perspective skills showed up very very clearly in my "sketches". I threw all that work out, but that experience made me want to do better. The only way to get better is to practice. I hated drawing buildings because I wasn't good at it but Gillian gave me enough information for me to think about and apply when I got home to my studio. Even the other work I did in the workshop I wasn't happy with. I had all these high expectations of what I should create and I was somewhat disappointed, not in the workshop but with myself! When I got back from the trip all the new information, techniques and philosophy of creating came pouring out of me and I did a couple of pieces that made me realize I had made a jump in my work. I felt these were pieces I could be proud to hang in a gallery, in fact create a body of work. This was profound and more importantly helped me understand what a good workshop will do. It helped me as a teacher as well. I always want my students to come away happy and with beautiful art they are proud of and when I see a student struggle, I feel bad, but now I realize that is a good place to be. It will make you want to go home and try again and again and again and then the beautiful art will happen.
Kelly and I both have a passion for creating and learning and it is very serious business for us but we do like to have fun and laugh so I think this week will be a delightful experience but be prepared to work!!
Here are some samples of some of my portraits:
Now here are some examples of Kelly Berkey's work. Wouldn't you want to learn some of her techniques? I sure can't wait! Check out her website to view more.