Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Bit of Good Press

An Article on the Intructors Show
Published by the Stony Plain Reporter
April 10, 2009
I had a great and unexpected time at the Opening Reception for the Instructors Show at the Allied Arts Council on April 4th. There was low public attendance but many woman that instruct and contributed to the show were there. We pulled up some of the comfy chairs together and had coffee over a fantastic afternoon full of discussion. When you are an instructor it is hard to find opportunities to meet other instructors, unless you attend their classes. We seem a rare breed that fleetingly come and go without ever meeting but at the same time we know of each other and see each others names in either shows or in class/workshop brochures. I constantly found myself thinking, who is this instructor, I wonder what they are like in person? There is this air of mystery about us. Sometimes being an art instructor is a lonely job, there are not many co-workers to meet in the coffee room and discuss those problems or achievements that occur. You come and go hearing from a student about how so-and-so taught this. Or seeing the great attendance numbers of this or that instructor. Yet, never meeting. We fit that old description - ships passing in the night. Well, we ships got together and I think that everyone was a little nervous to meet, well I know I was. I build up these instructors like characters in my head. I hear all these little tid bits about them, what kind of work they do, what they teach, and students impressions. So, I make them out to be larger than life. Then we meet. We talked about how the show was going, about the work that we contributed to it. Technical methods. I was interviewed for the article above. We chatted about the local press. That lead into me ranting on about blogging. We started to talk about teaching, mostly about the funny shocking things that happen. The unexpected comments we get from students. We talked about the things that we thought only happened to us. It was comforting to hear I was not the only one who had people drop out of classes unexpectedly without a word (note: to prospective students, this usually happens due to students personal life. Normally my classes run at full capacity). It was great to hear from instructors that are new to instructing and others that have been instructing for a long time. I could have chatted with them all day.
I got some decent press from the show as well. There was an article published in the local Stony Plain Reporter/ Spruce Grove Examiner that was very flattering in length. It was packed full of quotes from my interview. I do have to mention one big error and that is it states that I am a member 3times in the article. For the record I am NOT a member of the Allied Arts Council. It was not a 'members only' show. Finally you do not have to be a member to instruct at the Allied Arts Council. That aside, I received many positive comments on it. My favorite comments are the ones that said that my words were inspiring and made people want to go out and create, which is really my goal in teaching.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Delicately Sparkling

Delicately Sparkling
March 28, 2009
17" x 48"
Acrylic on Board

I am learning not to have openings and such on Friday nights. I think everyone is too tired and busy from their week that they probably want to do what I felt like doing, which is veg out in pajamas watching some comedy/romance rental. I am also learning about the powers of spring and that when spring hits everyone wants to start up on their home projects or go visit people they haven't seen in a while. People want to get outside. I have the same itch. So I am going to run weekly classes again when there is a demand for them, in the Fall. I already have people wanting to know what classes I am offering and if they can get on the registration lists. That is very encouraging. For now I am going to be instructing workshops and hosting artists nights and model sessions. I am really looking forward to more plein air painting this spring/summer.
Now for the painting above. It makes me feel girly and feminine, like I should paint my nails and do my hair a little more often. Not to look good but just to pamper myself a little more. I did this painting while I was in a bit of a funk. My kids had allergies and spring fever, translation -they were nuts! My husband was working quite a bit as well. So, I grabbed a cocktail and after watching a fashion intern show while I rocked my congested daughter to sleep, and I went into my studio. I put on the tv and left it on the country channel. I never have the tv on when I paint, I usually listen to music, and never country music. It was a new experience. A show came on where a young woman was the lead singer in the band and they sang songs that just spoke to me that night. I often paint as if nothing matters just the fact that I am painting and enjoying the experience of painting. Most of the time I don't even care if it works out, especially when working with acrylics, because I can just paint over it. I have been working in oil for quite a long time and I have been teaching people in both oil or acrylic. I thought I should brush up on my acrylic skills. The above painting lent itself to acrylics' qualities. I wanted to work quickly and use lots of washes and layering. I do have to look into different types of white in acrylic paint because I find the coverage of titanium white just doesn't do what I want it to. It is not even comparable with titanium white oil paint. Probably, like most artists, I go through more white paint than anything else.
Back to the painting. I wanted it to feel light and airy as well as glittery. It is all about the feeling or the emotions that the painting represents. I want to put in in a huge gold frame. I feel like it is a jewel unto itself. It makes me feel like I just got all dressed up into the most outrageous out fit, like I would when I was about 6, and I would twirl around feeling like I was the most beautiful princess in the whole world. Well, at least in my world.
I often paint as a form of therapy. It helps me to see things clearly afterwards. It helps me to detangle and understand my emotions. It also energizes me like a brisk morning walk.