Last week I left a house that was being packed up for a move across town and I flew to teach in Santa Ana, California. Part of me found it difficult to leave in the midst of so much to do and the other part of me wanted to race to the plane as fast as possible.
I left right before a snowstorm was about to hit and landed in sunny (yet windy) California. Just days before my trip my good friend Danielle Donaldson decided to tag along and be my helper (I promise I didn’t really make her work too hard). She was the perfect distraction to my packing up stress and made talking as you drift off to sleep so much more fun than talking to yourself.
I had a sold out and beyond class at Studio Cresendoh and was surrounded by the most incredible artists. The group was exceptional with their humor, energy, attitudes and talent.
It is a gift to have two full days to spend and share thoughts, mediums and techniques with a room of other artists. I feel like you truly get to have a glimpse of each other creatively and you can take your time to unravel the lessons more organically. The premise behind our two days was all about finding and seeing your style. We can take online classes, workshops, read books about art but what is our natural hand? Touch? Style? I think with a few key practice lessons it doesn’t take too long to find it, notice it, accept it and go forward boldly.
As an artist I know that my deepest desire with my art is to create authentic art that tells my story. That means embracing my hand, my natural tendencies, my imperfections and my story. The first day of my sketching and sculpting workshop was full of fast moving prompts with limited mediums to encourage authentic mark making and tendencies. At the end of the day we spread our work out and we were each able to see the authentic ways our touch was creating a style all our own. This full day of practice was to show us our touch and then to take those authentic elements and incorporate them into our sculptures the following day.
Day two was just pure fun with each artist creating an industrial armature and learning basic sculpting techniques. Most of the artists had never sculpted before and they were incredibly open minded and adventurous to dive right in. Each artist carried their authentic hand into their sculpting. At the end of the workshop Nancy Holly (go right now and check out her work. It made me weep it is so stunning) took a photo of each sculpture and created these fun collages so we could see all of our work together (A few of the women had to leave before this photos was taken). Can you even believe many of these women had never used clay before?!
Teaching and connecting with women in person is one of the best parts of my job. I do not to it as often as I would like because I am honestly the biggest homebody and I can’t stand to leave my family BUT when I teach I connect with that part of me that can only be reached through teaching.
Thank you to each of the women that truly SHOWED UP creatively! You repeatedly got out of your comfort zone over the two days and created beautiful art and made me laugh a whole lot the whole time.
Until next time.
If you would like to create together here are so upcoming events (also I am announcing my first two day workshop here on our new property very soon). They are all sold out at this time but most have a wait list.
Online workshops that have just started or that are starting soon…
Danielle Donaldson is back creating her watercolor magic and this time it is all about animals. Come and read more about All Creatures Lovely and Small. This online course begins on March 14, 2016.
This is one of my favorite online classes I have ever created and taught! Come and read more about Reflections: Paint Your Story. The feedback has been incredible and it is changing how so many approach their art and their story telling…
To read more about what you will learn in the course or to register please click HERE.
If you are new to our creative network here are easy steps to get you started…
1. Register at jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free).
2. Once your account is active you are able to take advantage of our free courses, series and even pay for courses.
3. Go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and along the top header click on “COURSES” and you will be able to view all three pages of online courses and free series.
4. To purchase a course please choose your course, click on the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be INSTANTLY in the classroom.
5. All videos can be found along the right hand side of the page under “COURSE CONTENT”.
*as long as we manage this site