From the article: The 10 Personality Types at Art Workshops
How do you feel about art workshops? What's the best ever experience you've had, and the worst? Any tips to share for those thinking of attending and for tutors leading sessions? Help others learn by sharing your thoughts and tips. Share Your Experiences
- I've attended several art workshops with mixed results. The last one was a week in Taos with an artist that I had been studying under. For the whole week, she acted like a drill sergeant and was extremely rude. We went from 8 am to 8 pm every day with no personal time. She dictated where we would eat much to the chagrin of the group. My painting was awful, by the end of the week almost everyone in the workshop was in tears, at some point. To make matters worse, she spent most of her focus on two women who turned out to be patrons of her work which I could not afford. I really left the work shop totally confused and disappointed about painting. All the woman talked about was art theory and herself. I changed instructors and now have a more pratical teacher. My painting improved after one lesson. I would do another workshop, but not a whole week.
- —Guest bamboo
The One Who Stands Out
- In the past five years, all but one (tiny) workshop had The One Who Stands Out: arrives late (even an hour late!) with a great commotion that requires the instructor to stop everything to review; doesn't bother to read the supply list, so wants to borrow everyone else's stuff; talks a lot (and loudly) about themself, their work, their art; use more than their share of the work space. Above all, they are always oblivious to any of this.
- —Guest CBear
Workshops have all been wonderful
- I have attended several workshops over the years and I have had a wonderful time at each of them and learned vast amounts of creative knowledge. The majority of people at the workshops were pleasant, friendly and more than willing to share information. They are a wonderful way to learn about art and people.
- —Guest Nan1DayX
- This depends on who is teaching the workshop. I have been to several. This particular one, the teacher, who was a well-known watercolorist, treated everyone as if they were beginners. The first day was a complete waste of time. Too much time was spent on the teacher's demos, not enough on painting. Also, too many corny jokes from the teacher. Most of the workshop was glorifying the teacher's work, and not enough on actually helping or working with the students (participants). While this teacher is a great painter, I would not take another workshop with this one again. A good artist does not always make a good workshop leader.
- —Guest Flora
Some bits of more than one
- I so enjoyed to read this article! I think it was a lively picture of what can happen in a class like this. Although I took classes decades ago, I know the magic and inspiring effect of seeing others do things you never thought you could do. An hour in the presence of a charismatic teacher can get you further than a year of online or book studies. And with a slight feeling of shame, I found some of my own hidden faults characterized in your report. Very helpful!
- —Guest Eva
- I was delighted to be able to paint under one of my favorite artists. A heavy person, who sat in a large overstuffed chair, would paint beautifully as we gathered around her each day. She sold each painting to one of us at the end of each session. Other than that, there was little if any walking around the room and giving suggestions or help. The worst part was that she had her "groupies" sitting near her and for the most part we had to listen to them talk about their infirmities, family and friends. There was a critique on last day that was not very helpful to any of us. My impression was that this woman shouldn't be doing workshops in this way. Many were sad, some just felt thrilled to be in her presence. My pet peeve in any workshop is the chit chat that is annoying to anyone trying to concentrate on their work. I had talked a fellow artist to attend with me who was very annoyed as well. This was a very pricey workshop, and we feel cheated of our time and our money!!
- —Guest Lee Jirka
I Wasn't in the Clique
- The last one I attended there were three women sat opposite me who worked together or knew each other. They were very chatty, but when I joined in they just ignored me. After saying that there was also a woman a the side of me that never shut up. Then there was the man who every week told us he was a widow. The woman that liked the attention of the men. So I suppose we expect that there will be variety. But as long as they are friendly and encouraging we can put up with the rest.
- I really admired the work of the late John Blockley. I tried many time to get a place on one of his courses but even within a few days of his next course being announced, all places had been taken. He died a few years ago so if anyone knows of another artist/tutor who paints in his style and who uses his watercolour techniques please give me details. The worst (but not too bad) art course experience was at a David Bellamy course which was held at an outdoor center in Wales. The very best was at Higham Hall - fair tuition, great food plus evening access to the surrounding area (and pubs). During a visit to the annual Lake Artists Exhibition in Grasmere (Lake District) village hall, I was treated to an impromptu demo of painting water drops by the late Walter Parker. He had on display a painting which he had named 'Not a Day For The Fells' which showed the view through a window with raindrops running down to a rainy outdoors scene.
High Expectations Low Yield
- I had located and followed a more fauve plain air painter and though the workshop required traveling and much planning, I wanted so badly to be with other painters who share my style. It may have been the weather (rain, fog ) and too many beginners with other styles that did not make the experience I was hoping for.
- —Guest surfdane
- I was so nervous the first time I went but by the end of the weekend I didn't want it to be finished! But definitely go with someone cause you love their paintings!!
- —Guest Jamie