I just realized it’s been 2.5 months since my last blog post–whew, the time has flown! I was busy preparing for my first workshop of the year, “Textures Galore in Colored Pencil”, which I finally taught last weekend, April 14-15, for CPSA DC210 San Jose.
I’m not one of those people who can just walk into a room and talk off-the-cuff at length; as an introvert who was terrified of speaking in front of a group most of my life, I agonize for weeks over the outline, the details, the examples, the choice of words, the exercises, the packet contents, everything. Over-preparation is the best antidote to performance anxiety. And besides, I want so much for my students to learn, understand, improve, and have fun!
So I spent a long time writing and organizing all the information that I wanted my workshop students to know, with examples and reference photos, so they wouldn’t have to take notes. I finally decided to hire a layout designer to make an 8-page booklet out of it, and had copies for everyone professionally printed. I’m really glad I did. It saved me the time and effort of printing 160 pages one by one on my little printer, dealing with paper jams, ink cartridges, etc., and it looks soooo much better on heavier, satin-finished paper with a saddle stitch binding.
I also made a long checklist of everything I could possibly need during the two days, and didn’t cross things off until they were packed in my bin. Because yes, there was once a workshop where I forgot to take my reading glasses, and yes, there was once a workshop where I forgot to take the drawing paper for everyone! Talk about panic…..
It all came together, and it was a terrific workshop weekend! We had participants from as far away as San Clemente and Lompoc. Since the focus was on textures, I brought several samples from my collection, and as a homework assignment I asked everyone to bring in an interesting texture of their own, so we had quite an assortment to talk about.
Chapter Vice President Peggy Milovena-Meyer volunteered her husband to do A/V for us, so we had a kickass setup with a sound system, a cordless mic, and an HD camera focused on my drawing board and projecting to a gigantic TV screen on the wall behind me. The system even enabled us to have streaming music during breaks and long drawing sessions!
Over the course of writing 101 Textures in Colored Pencil, there were quite a few textures that I’d never drawn before, so I had to figure them out. What I learned from that experience was that through close observation, not just looking but seeing, analyzing, determining which techniques and tools might work, and only then drawing, I could successfully render just about anything. So that’s exactly what we practiced with a few exercises.
To put it all together on the afternoon of day two, each student got a slice of an image with multiple textures to figure out on their own, and at 3:45 we put them together. We sure could’ve used another hour! Here’s one group’s….
Big, big thanks go to CPSA DC210 San Jose President Paula Greer for inviting me to teach the workshop, to Peggy Milovena-Meyer for making coffee and lunch runs and contributing her husband Brad for his A/V skills, to Maria Lemery for finding the great venue, and to all the cheerful students who spent their time, energy and money to be there. Y’all are terrific!