Monday, May 1, 2017


A couple of weeks ago I attended an excellent workshop through the Southeastern Pastel Society.  The instructor was Sally Strand, one of the most elite pastelists working realistically today.  She has written numerous articles for The Artist Magazine and Pastel Artist. 

Prior to attending, I really didn’t know what to expect.  I’ve attended SPS workshops in previous years and each successive one has seemed better than the last, so I knew it would be worth attending.  This one was no exception.  Sally was warm, extremely knowledgeable and generous.  The first two days I was very pleased with the studies I produced.  On the third day, I felt like I lost my focus, my concentration lagged and the end result was just mediocre.  I was frustrated, not with Sally but with myself.

The day ended with a critique and I left with several ideas about how to improve the final work.  By the time I got home, life was waiting and there was no time to try those ideas.  Finally, last night I was able to sit quietly and review my notes, study my paintings and think about what I wanted to do with the last one.  What I found was that everything began to come together.  All the little eureka moments, all the images of other people’s works suddenly made sense.  I could see my way to a better painting.  

 Tomorrow I will be plein air painting and I can’t wait to try applying everything I learned.  I’ve come to realize that the reason each workshop seems successively better is that I’ve learned more about art in the meantime, and how  to garner the most from the workshop instructor and most importantly, I’ve learned not to wait to use the new knowledge!

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