Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, October 6, 2017

Enjoying a Kathleen Conover Workshop

Kathleen Conover Demonstration ©Mary Montague Sikes
Every year, I enjoy taking one artist workshop. Somehow, this year I went a little crazy and took three. Last week, we traveled to Boone, North Carolina and Cheap Joe's magnificent workshop facility for Kathleen Conover's outstanding class.

Because I don't usually like working on Arches watercolor paper which headed the supply list, I doubted I would get very much from this workshop. However, because Mary Ann Beckwick often spoke of Kathleen during her classes and because it was at Cheap Joe's, I wanted to take the workshop.

I was not disappointed. "Chaos to Order" was one of the best workshops I have ever taken. Kathleen is thorough and provides a detailed outline for her instruction at the very beginning.

The first day we made 12 starts, creating "chaos" by "playing" with texture, repetition, variety, and much more as we worked with her patented "gesso juice". By 5 p.m., I was exhausted and ready for dinner. We had the beginning of paintings, using plastic wrap, wax paper, stencils, stamps, sponges, and much more.

The week continued at the same fast pace. I didn't create any masterpieces, but I learned a lot about composition and using design. Of course, I already knew a great deal, but sometimes reinforcement is something everyone needs. The small works (1/4 watercolor sheet) can be planning art for larger paintings or they can be finished pieces in themselves.

It was inspiring to be in the midst of a classroom full of dedicated artists. We each had two tables on which to work. We all did value studies and spent time editing our work. I loved being with them and with Kathleen for the week. Now I need to read over and study the class outline once more and use it to make order out of the original "chaos" pieces I didn't complete in class.
In the midst of chaos.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Well done Monti - it's great that you're so keen on improving your learning and understanding about art and the opportunities there to be learnt. Sounds amazing - a whole week with a group of like-minded souls, led by Kathleen ... the expert. Lucky you - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And you got something out of it anyway. We often do when we just take a chance on something.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics.

Boone, NC? One of my authors owns an art gallery there. You didn't happen to visit the Alta Vista Gallery, did you?

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Yes, Hilary, I love the experience of being with other creatives. Thank you!

Alex, I usually learn something, but this was more than worth the long drive and effort!

Diane, hopefully I will take another workshop there and will look for Alta Vista Gallery. When I participate fully, the workshops are too exhausting to feel like exploring later.