Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend with the Masters

It’s going on two months since my trip to Colorado Springs for the American Artist’s Weekend with the Masters.  This four-day event featured some of the nation’s noted authorities on painting and drawing.   One is always asked, was it worth it, or some such question that brings on the standard response.  Yea, loved it—would do it again in a heartbeat—worth every penny.

Now that the experience has had time to percolate, I’m left with a different response that I needed to

 Photo: David Leffel and Jeremy Lipking's demonstration

put into words for myself, as much as, for others wanting to spend big bucks (travel, car rental, lodging, food, and tuition). 
First I have to say that when I registered, all workshops were closed.  My only options were lectures and demos.  Not a problem, since I didn’t cherish packing all the materials needed to actually paint with and then have them shipped ahead of time.  In addition, I’d rather listen and watch with my full attention given to the speaker and then go back to my studio to practice what I learned.


Not actually participating in a workshop experience changed the dynamics of the experience greatly and here is where I have to ask, was it worth it?  To answer that question, I had to ask myself what were my goals for going in the first place? It’s only when expectations aren’t met that one feels they didn’t get their monies worth.

First, I  wanted to meet some of my idols of the easel.  Goal one accomplished!  My second goal was to watch them teach.  Here you have to understand my background.  I’ve been a teacher for thirty-five years and a painter for even a little longer.  I’ve trained teachers, tutored teachers, and evaluated teachers, as well as, taught kids from kindergarten through college.  Second goal was accomplished and that’s where my real learning took place and made the trip worth every penny I spent.

I find a great joy is watching a master teacher, no matter what  the discipline.  At the Master’s Weekend, there were many.  To put into words a physical act of drawing or painting requires a set of skills that go beyond being an excellent artist.

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