Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Artist Workshops Inspire You?

"Fitness Machine" acrylic/mixed ©Mary Montague Sikes
I love artist workshops. I love to take them; I love to teach them.

One of my favorites to teach is "Creating with Texture and Design". The painting to the left,"Fitness Machine," is one of my works of art that has texture built up with acrylic mediums beneath the paint surface. I love the study the way the light reflects on the luscious images that glow in this abstract painting on canvas.

The textured work of Jan Sitts first inspired me. I have followed her painting career for a number of years and finally went to Sedona, Arizona to take a workshop with her there. It did not disappoint. However, I discovered taking a workshop when you are flying into the city is far different from taking one, or teaching it, when driving. I use a lot of different mediums in my work, including thick white gesso, regular gel medium, heavy gel medium, gel with beads, and more. Since I spread these materials on my canvas with a painting knife, it takes a while for them to dry. When I can pack up my work in a car, there's no problem with the still soft surfaces. However, when flying, you need to pack up the work and ship it on the last day. That creates lots of problems and extra expense.
"Bell Rock" ©Mary Montague Sikes

My acrylic/mixed media painting, "Bell Rock," was inspired by the Jan Sitts workshop. So was "Pthalo Mountains."
"Pthalo Mountains ©Mary Montague Sikes

Mary Ann Beckwith taught me to love Yupo as a painting surface. A workshop with Carrie Brown led to broken barriers and greater love of texture. She taught me to use thick gesso in ways I had never before tried. She taught me to adore the square format.

My next workshops will be in Hilton Head, South Carolina and in Gloucester, Virginia. Please contact me at monti7olen@verizon.net for more information about registering.