When is a workshop…well not a workshop? Part

I just spent a week in Arizona working with Katherine Chang Liu, an internationally recognized artist and teacher. Katherine calls what she does mentoring, not a workshop, partly because she does not demonstrate techniques.

Katherine does not dwell on an artist’s deficiencies, instead she identifies each individual’s strengths and guides them by building upon these strengths to form their personal visual language. Her ability to discover the essence of each artist’s work was amazing. At least in my own personal case, it was positive reinforcement.

Although my work space was totally mine to organize and set up, I was fortunate enough to be near two incredible abstract artists, Nancy Dini, and Jackie Roliardi. Nancy was working with texture and Jackie with shapes. Observing the various artists and how they worked was an added benefit of the week. You can find Jackie’s work at https://jackieroliardiart.artspan.com/


Collage Detour


How many shades of yellow are there? No it is not a trick question. And what about blues? You see I got distracted from the 30-in-30 paintings this week. The initial idea was to test out some of the on-line classes and glean a few good teaching techniques. I have to admit I was a bit amazed at the variety and the quality. But it was one on color that got me into trouble this past week.

That very question about yellows is where it started. I found I didn’t own a primary yellow except in craft paint. And the only primary blue was in student grade. My head is hanging…almost to my toes.

To start with, I was happy no one had me pull out my color wheel. We made one. Well, several. And then several more collages. That’s when things began to get blurry—at about 5 or 6 collages. Yes, everything from analogous colors (which I admit I love) to developing contrast with hues and intensity.

I certainly picked an excellent online course to review. I felt at home with her teaching process and came away with several ideas for my own classes. It was also an excellent review of color and made me wonder why I don’t collage as much as I use to.

And then there’s the purchase. One online art supply store is very happy. And primary yellow and blue are among the paints I ordered. While I won’t bore you with my color wheels or the six collages I did, I will share two and try to get back on track.


Teaching Makes Us Smarter

For years I taught writing part-time at universities near where I lived both in Tennessee and Maryland. I also briefly taught high school English. I never felt more useful or smarter. Now I know why. Based on scientific research, I was smarter because I had to break down the writing process and find creative ways to present the information.

For those of you who teach, I salute you. But give credit to your students as well. This article reminds us of the benefits of learning and thinking in a group. It’s a win, win—even for teachers.