COVID Crash Series

These drawings have been brewing in my mind for a while now and in one way or another, I tried to make them but nothing turned out right. It seemed that the time was right now and just picking up my sketchbook and a simple ballpoint pen was all I needed.

I’ve been thinking a lot about sketchbooks lately. Actually I’ve thought about them a lot over the years, they have always intrigued and fascinated me…compact, colorful, thoughtful, poetic, lyrical, they are a narrative of the artist’s mind, a work of art that can be read, touched and held. They’re spontaneous, experimental, even ugly sometimes (at least mine are), but always interesting. Since COVID has crept in and some artists have been kept from their studios, I’ve seen some some amazing sketchbook pages being posted on social media, it’s been such an inspiration!

I am fortunate enough to have a home studio, but even so I wasn’t inspired to paint. I was feeling unsure and vulnerable, wanting to curl up and focus on simplicity and details instead of sweeping gestures of color and paint. Like many people, I began to participate in Zoom calls with friends, colleagues and online classes. When I wasn’t actively participating in the call, I found that I could listen better when doodling and from those doodles emerged my COVID Crash Drawings Series. These drawings have been brewing in my mind for a while now and in one way or another, I have tried to make them but nothing turned out right. It seemed that the time was right now and just picking up my sketchbook and a simple ballpoint pen was all I needed to bring them to fruition. They’re difficult to categorize, but I’d say they’re hybrids; part dream, part nightmare, part, human, part humanoid, part plant, part animal, reactions to a nonsensical world gone virus crazy. The series is ongoing, I’ve completed 15 out of…you guessed it…19…in the first series. They’ve been very popular and I’ve already sold about half so there will be another series coming, entitled…you guessed it…COVID Crash, The 2nd Wave… Stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy a sampling of the first series below and the rest on my Instagram.

Exploring Landscape in a Live Virtual Encaustic Workshop

With the pandemic keeping us all close to home, its more important than ever to be able to find inspiration literally in your own backyard or close-by. I highlight the live, virtual encaustic workshop I am teaching July 12-16.

I’m grabbing my paints and jumping on the virtual teaching bandwagon along with so many of my esteemed teaching artist colleagues. I still, and with excited anticipation, very much intend to honor my in-person teaching workshop contracts coming up later in the year. But it is with equally excited anticipation that I highlight the quickly approaching live, virtual encaustic workshop I am teaching July 12-16 in collaboration with Wild Rice Retreats.
Visit The Workshop Web Page for more information and registration.

Exploring Landscape Through Encaustic & The Mark Live, Virtual Workshop

This workshop is one of my favorite in-person teaching experiences. I designed this workshop with the desire to share all of my favorite things-art, hiking and teaching-together in one class and in its 5th year it is still going strong. Everyone explores the outdoors differently and through class discussions and individual work, we all see, experience and learn from one another’s creative vision to experience the essence of the land through all of the senses. With the pandemic keeping us all close to home, its more important than ever to be able to find inspiration literally in your own backyard or close-by. Because we will all be in various states and/or countries for this virtual workshop, the group exploration of the various locales will be that much more exciting and expansive. I am currently working on new journaling, mark-making and painting exercises that are sure to inspire you out of stay-at-home humdrum. I very much look forward to creatively exploring your landscape and this virtual workshop platform with you.

Official Workshop Description

The mark of nature combined with encaustic painting creates timeless works which reference memory, change and time. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with innovative materials, drawing and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land. 

Daily journaling, meditation, readings and expressive mark-making exercises along with leisurely walks exploring the outdoors provide the inspiration for which to develop ideas for series based work while also developing your personal artistic voice. 

Through listening, mapping, touching, collecting and communing with nature through all of the senses, our body’s connection and its direct relationship to landscape is explored and experienced. 

**Please note that participants should be prepared to spend time outside as well as in the studio. In the event that participants are unable to take part in outdoor activities, participants are welcome to opt out and alternative indoor creative exercises will be provided.

To enhance your Virtual Live Retreat with Wild Rice Retreat, the following will be included in your registration:

  1. Welcome box featuring Wild Rice Retreat favorites and goodies to enhance your experience.
  2. Student Work Show posted on the Wild Rice Retreat Website at completion of online retreat
  3. Optional Individual meetings with instructor.
  4. Visit The Workshop Web Page for more information and registration.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (May be subject to slight changes)

SUNDAY, July 12, 5:00pm CST
Welcome and informal meet and greet with instructor and participants.

DAY 1: Monday, July 13
9:30am-11am CST
We will begin with brief discussion and meditation, settling and experiencing the moment. We will take a virtual hike to begin our first day of experiencing the land, discussion of breath/breathing, listening, drawing, journaling collecting inspiration and materials suitable for brush making. Brief brush making demo.

Afternoon (Time TBA)
Lorraine will introduce a mixed media exercise inspired by our morning hike. We will use collected materials from the hike to make marks and generate ideas. The rest of the afternoon is devoted to refining this drawing and the sketches from our hike, free painting time and/or more inspiration gathering.

DAY 2: Tuesday, July 14
9:30am-11am CST
Discussion of drawings and findings from the day before and possibilities for further study. Meditation, journaling, discussion of distancing, isolation, effects of pandemic, separation, silence in relationship to the outdoors and how to express these thoughts in marks and paint. Inspiration slide talk of contemporary artists who effectively use line, mark-making and landscape in their work. Optional individual meetings with Lorraine.

Afternoon (Time TBA)
Lorraine will begin with encaustic mark making demonstrations of graphite paper and horsehair as well as introduce other interesting mark making products suitable for encaustic. Encaustic monoprint, work on paper demo. We will continue with uninterrupted work time for refining drawings, painting, working toward a series and individual discussions with Lorraine.

DAY 3: Wednesday, July 15
9:30am-11:00am CST
After a brief group meditation (optional), we will continue with inspiration discussion, discussion of the work already produced and the direction each person would like to take toward a paintings series or works on paper series. Encaustic collage demo. Continued individual discussions with Lorraine.

Afternoon (Time TBA)
After a brief meeting and discussion, we will continue with uninterrupted work time for refining drawings, painting, working toward a series and individual discussions with Lorraine.

DAY 4: Thursday, July 16
9:30am-11am CST
After morning meditation (optional) and discussion, we will continue with uninterrupted work time using mark making and encaustic to build a series, experiment with marks, make color studies, ask questions, request informal demos, and continue with individual discussions with Lorraine.

Afternoon (Time TBA)
After group meditation (optional), we will continue with uninterrupted work time using mark making and encaustic to build a series. Continue working through part of the afternoon, address your concerns one on one with Lorraine, take some time to journal your thoughts and informally discuss your progress.

Afternoon (Time TBA)
Show and tell walk through and final group discussions.

Visit The Workshop Web Page for more information and registration.

What Else?

  1. Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  2. Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  3. Mark-making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  4. The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with Lorraine. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Lorraine.
  5. Some guided meditation time, planned hiking geared toward your locale will relax and open your mind and spirit to the land, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  6. A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  7. Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and hikes.

Still on the fence?

Visit this post, this post, and this post to see highlights and student work from past Retreats similar in content to this workshop. Visit this post and this post to see how I combine art, hiking and landscape in my personal work.

5 Reasons Why I Installed My Solo Gallery Show During Covid19 Quarantine

Why did I go ahead with installing a show in the middle of a pandemic? A show that may never have eyes on it other than mine and the gallery owner’s? I list 5 very good reasons why I did it…

Hey, so did you all know I have an actual solo show installed in an actual gallery right in the middle of a national quarantine? The opening, originally scheduled for April 11 was rescheduled as a closing for May 16 and has now been extended to a June 6 closing. (Show details at the end of the article). I was lucky to gain the extension because the artist whose show was scheduled after mine decided to decline because of the virus. Why did I go ahead with installing a show that may never have eyes on it other than mine and the gallery owner’s?

Because….

  1. I’m an artist and it’s what I do. Period. I am an artist. I have art. I have been offered walls in a gallery to hang that art and I’m going to hang it. One of my favorite quotes from the book, Steal Like An Artist, Watch a great musician play a show, watch a great leader give a speech. You’ll see what I mean. You need to find a way to bring your body into your work….you know that phrase ‘going through the motions?’ That’s what’s so great about creative work: if we just start going through the motions, if we strum a guitar or shuffle sticky notes around a conference table, or start kneading clay, the motion kick starts our brain into thinking.
    It’s important for me as an artist to do what I do, to go through the motions no matter the fears I, or anyone else, may have regarding the future.
  2. Hope How many of you have walked down once bustling city streets and peeked into shop windows wishing that you would see a light on or a person working, something that would give you hope? Well, I have peered into shop windows on a few instances and I have found that hope. People walking by the gallery may not be collectors and it may not be an opening, but it just might add hope to the heart of someone glancing in the window of the gallery who sees my art instead of empty white walls.
  3. Art is Meant to be Experienced in Person Kudos and many thanks to those who have organized online exhibitions to brighten art lovers lives during isolation, I have thankfully been a part of a few of these shows. But just like quarantine, online exhibitions are not sustainable in order for art to thrive. Scale, color, sound, smell, texture, touch, not to mention the emotional experience one can rouse from the presence of a piece of art and/or the cohesiveness of entire exhibition. These things are just absent when viewing art online.
  4. Normalcy I needed a bit of it in my life. Taking masked precautions when necessary, I continued to hike, drive, go to the food store and keep appointments when I could throughout the quarantine. So when the gallery owner contacted me and asked if I wanted to go on with the show, my answer was an adamant, Of Course! As we slowly creep out of this isolation and take proper precautions, I will continue to schedule in person shows, workshops, trips and everything else that brings me just a bit closer to normal life and I encourage you, my artist friends (those of you who can do this safely) to do the same.
  5. Art is An Essential Worker Not to undermine the so many brave frontline souls, you are wonderful and thank YOU for doing what you do. So many conversations have been had during this quarantine regarding who is an essential worker, what is an essential product, business, etc. As an artist, I’m guessing art and artists fall somewhere near the bottom of that very long list of essentials. My post, 5 Reasons Why the World Needs Art & Artists argues why art should at least be near the top.

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, please come see my show! All precautions will be taken to keep everyone safe and distant while viewing the art including mandatory mask wearing (I will have a few of my own handmade, hand-dyed, sterilized masks on hand as door prizes for the first 5 attendees!) Limit to 4 people inside the gallery at a time, wrapped refreshments and frequent wiping down of surfaces. Come see!
For those of you who can’t make it, highlights of the show are pictured below.

Lorraine Glessner Solo Show: A Box of Devils
Closing Reception, June 20, 2-5 pm
Boston Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Gallery Web Site

An (Un)Productive Time: A Conversation With Artist Christine Aaron

What happens when a nation full of artists is thrown into what is essentially a 6 week artists residency? Many amazing thoughts and conversations have transpired as a result of deep and creative thinkers actually having time to think. My lovely and talented artist friend, Christine Aaron, shares her thoughts on being (un)productive during Covid quarantine.

As I’m assuming many of you are doing during this crazy quarantine time, I have been connecting with friends in as many virtual ways as possible and having some great conversations. What happens when a nation full of artists is thrown into what is essentially a 6 week artists residency? Many amazing thoughts and conversations have transpired as a result of deep and creative thinkers actually having time to think. In my last blog post, I offer 10 ways artists can be productive during Covid, as to be productive is always my goal on any given day. However, as this quarantine endlessly drags on, I find myself embracing this time of quiet and instead of watching and creating promo videos, I’ve actually spent LESS time on social media. What this will do for my teaching career remains to be seen, but what it has done for my studio work has been fantastic. I have been able to write, draw, read and make the time consuming encaustic paintings I had stopped making because it was so important to make, make, make as much as I could for whatever reason. So this month, I’m sharing with you an email by my lovely and talented artist friend, Christine Aaron, in which she discusses the joys of being (un)productive. An excellent addendum to her thoughts is a good article Christine shared with with me in this same email, Against Productivity in a Pandemic. A sampling of Christine’s sensitive material investigations in printmaking, handmade paper, sculpture and installation is below and you can see more at her web site and follow her on Instagram.

I am trying to resist the need to produce. It’s that constant drumbeat of the american work ethic. The idea that we are only as valuable as the work and the things we produce. I got a lot of affirmation for being the “good girl” and huge emphasis put on the value/necessity of producing, as in productivity equals value. I had a huge issue when I stopped working outside the home and found myself needing to daily justify my existence by what I accomplished. It is till the hardest part to let go of for me… this idea that to call myself an artist I have to at least make enough $ to earn my keep.

I want to say…Just stop. For a week or two. Slow down. Recognize all we miss every single day with our rushing around. Take stock. Reprioritize. Let yourself grieve. Let yourself just….be. Read sleep breathe, walk, notice….

The drumbeat of do do do is hard to resist but I am trying.

Feel there is so much more to learn than a rush to do everything as we used to. I think part of that urge is the drive to shove the uncomfortable aside…to bury oneself in the familiar. To not think too deeply or feel too deeply. I want so much for humans to come out of this with a renewed recognition that we need in-person contact, that devices aren’t enough, that touch and intimacy and connection is essential to our health.

Reading, watching Art21, doing puzzles, walking, meditating. I plan to be in the studio each day..but NOT to produce for a specific end goal. Making to make, for the pure pleasure of exploration, experimentation, happiness, curiosity (what if what if what if) and putting aside material conceptual “goal”, “should”, “product” concerns to a much later date. To play, to read, to daydream, to give myself some quiet time. Stain, sketch, dye, stitch and experiment. Once this is all over I’ll see what it all adds up to.

10 Things Artists Can Do During Corona-Crud Confinement

Trying not to think too hard about why I’m sequestered in my studio, I’m actually enjoying this quiet time and realizing I have much to do that I was saving for a rainy day. The following is a list of what I’ve accomplished so far and look forward to accomplishing. Hoping it will give you some inspiration to get S**T done.

At the end of this first week of the Coronavirus Confinement & Social Distancing experiment, a meme I saw the other day describes it perfectly…What a long year this week has been…

As working artists, we are pretty much used to being self-quarantined in our studios. I must admit, at the beginning of all of this, I kind of welcomed the stopping of the clock, mandatory shut down of life so I could get some work done. Trying not to think too hard about why I’m sequestered in my studio, I’m actually enjoying this quiet time and realizing I have much to do that I was saving for a rainy day. The following is a list of what I’ve accomplished so far and look forward to accomplishing. Hoping it will give you some inspiration to get S**T done.

I realize there are many of you who can’t get to your studios at this time and believe me, I empathize. There was a time not too long ago when I was in the same boat. For you, I have this post and this post, listing portable, non-messy art supplies you can purchase to use at home or out at your favorite hiking trail. Fortunately, Amazon still works and you can purchase these supplies and more at my Amazon Store.

  1. Make one thing on your Idea List I have an ongoing list of 20-25 ideas that randomly pop into my head when I’m working on must-do things. This list consists of fun things like embroidery or sewing projects, making sketchbooks or portfolio boxes to house my ever growing collection of artist postcards. If you sew, make a face mask to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus should you venture outside. If you don’t know what to make, start an idea list now!
  2. Have a melt down For encaustic artists and those who can get to the studio…melt down your encaustic scrapings-doing this makes great grays and taupes. I have a collection of scrapings I’ve been saving since forever and now is the time to melt! If you don’t know how to do this, stay tuned for a how-to on My Youtube Channel and IGTV.
  3. Read that giant art book you got over the holidays Yeah, READ IT, don’t just look at the pictures. I just read the Lawrence Carroll book, I Have Longed to Move Away, it was awesome and allowed me so much more insight into his work.
  4. Clean It’s spring after all and if you can actually find cleaning supplies in the stores, get busy cleaning out the winter scuzz from those nooks and crannies.
  5. Clean Out Go through your collections of books, pencils, paints, brushes, paper pads, whatever you’ve been hoarding and get rid of some stuff. Donate it to a local school, summer camp or after school program. Even if the kids don’t get back to school this semester, they will use it in September.
  6. Draw For those with or without a studio, it just takes a substrate and a drawing implement to make some art. Not sure what to draw? Visit 5 Mark-Making Exercises to Jump Start Your Art for ideas.
  7. Catalog your art inventory Oh, its soooo booooring! But it must be done and I’m sure you’re like me and have been putting it off like the plague-no pun intended. No more excuses, get busy and get it done. Sign up for ArtWork Archive to make your life easier.
  8. Start that one big art marketing thing you’ve been putting off We all have that thing that looms so big we can’t even imagine how to begin. Start a web page, a blog, a new Instagram account, a Facebook Fan page, learn a new technique, make videos, etc. For me, it’s online classes. I’ve been circling around it for years and it has become more imperative for me to begin now that I may not have a 2020 workshop season.
  9. Bake From the looks of the shelves at my food store and the yummy pics on my social media, everyone has had the same idea to make a sweet treat to get through this time. For artists, we can take it a step further and creatively decorate our yummies. Visit my Cakes! Pinterest Page for inspiration-even if you don’t bake, it’s fun to look.
  10. Do not fear, think positive, wash your hands and realize that all of this is temporary I have seen people referring to this as ‘the new normal’ and some have settled into a mindset that all of this is forever. It is not, my friends. While this virus should be taken seriously, be secure in the fact that it is a virus and we will find a vaccine, if not a cure to combat it. This too, shall pass and when it does, I think we will all have a better outlook on life and in our fellow humans. Be safe, healthy and wash your hands.

The Importance of Contrast

When I think of visual contrast, especially as it pertains to painting, the first thing that comes to mind is light/dark, but contrast is so much more than that.

I am on the tail end of my Second Annual Self Made Artist Residency in Florida and unfortunately, a bout of the flu set me back a week in my plans, so I’m afraid that a lengthy blog post isn’t in the cards. However, a valuable lesson is…

While a good part of this residency is reserved for time to paint, read, write, rest, I also spend a lot of it hiking and taking photographs for painting inspiration…or I photograph just because I see a thing and want to keep it forever 😉 Looking at these photographs as well as paintings I’m attracted to, both my own and other’s work, I’m learning there is one thing that I need to see to both attract and keep my interest: CONTRAST.

When I think of visual contrast, especially as it pertains to painting, the first thing that comes to mind is light/dark, but contrast is so much more than that. In Christopher Alexander’s amazing list, 15 Elements of Style, contrast is succinctly defined as ‘visible opposites’. It became most apparent to me to create a list of what those opposites could be when teaching my Beyond the Basics Encaustic Workshop. During the excavation phase-scraping and carving out a composition after laying down layers of paint and/or during an Encaustic PaintSmash session (see links below)-its like unwrapping a gift, but the gift can shift and morph into one amazing thing after another. Students often ask what to look for, what to highlight…and the answer is always, Contrast. The following list has grown considerably since I first started it in BTB Encaustic and its now shared with all of my workshops. I hope you find it helpful to your process and please feel free to add to it! Below are some paintings chosen randomly from my Pinterest Collection that exemplify the points on the list.

  • Complimentary colors
  • Smooth vs texture
  • Geometric vs organic form
  • Light vs dark-value
  • Solid vs patterned
  • Earthy/grays vs brights/clear
  • Sharp vs Blurry
  • Detail vs Loose

VISIT THIS POST to see images of student work, plus more in depth information about Beyond the Basics Encaustic. Visit this post, this post, this post and this post for more information and images about Encaustic PaintSmash as well as my YouTube Channel for videos.

Pattern & Decoration: A Little Known Art Movement

What is it about those of us who like to include a ton STUFF in their work? I began to investigate this phenomenon in grad school and discovered an art movement that even my professors had never heard of before-Pattern & Decoration or P&D for short.

I do admire artists who can say a lot with a little, however, I have to admit, I’m just not one of them. My confession of the day is…I like a lot of stuff (or shtuff, as I like to say) in my work: images, layers, materials, colors, patterns, processes. Sometimes I think it’s a bit too much and critics of my past often said this was so…but I like to ignore critics and did so then. Over the years I entertained the notion of paring down, simplifying, only to soon after add back in that which I had taken out. What is it about those of us who like to include a ton shtuff in their work? I began to investigate this phenomenon in grad school and discovered an art movement that even my professors had never heard of before-Pattern & Decoration or P&D for short.

P&D artists practiced Maximalism, a term that basically describes extremes and can be applied to anything in life and to any type of industry. In art, it is an extreme use of color, movement, pattern, repetition, an all-out explosion of shtuff! Both P&D and maximalism arose in the early 70’s as an answer to minimalism and its austere, almost restrictive practices. P&D paintings lean toward the decorative, with elaborate compositions of flowers, ornament and swirls, the use of collaged fabrics, glitter, decoupage and gold leaf. It’s for this reason that the P&D movement itself is generally thought of as feminine or craft driven, although a good number of artists were male and all artists were mostly painters. The movement itself was relatively short-lived, lasting only about a decade, yet many of the artists associated with it are well known, some still creating interesting work today. A few of my favorites include, Miriam Shapiro, Joyce Kozloff and Robert Kushner (all pictured in that order in the gallery below).

To my delight, P&D has come out of obscurity within the last year, with four shows in major institutions celebrating this movement. Further, if you look at any contemporary painting gallery today, you’ll see at least one artist whose work could be described as maximalism and has likely been influence by P&D. P&D is alive and well in my studio and in many of yours, I’m sure. To those of you who are holding back, I say MAX OUT, give it all you’ve got…life is short, my friends. Check out the gallery below for inspiration and if you need more, please visit my Pinterest board, Painting: Pattern.

Living In Gratitude

Since I started writing daily gratitudes, my mindset has greatly improved. I’m able to see the half full glass, smile and be more relaxed even when I feel like exploding. Take it from a skeptic, Living In Gratitude really does work!

As we enter into a new year and a new decade (!) I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. It’s such a cliche, really, so new age-y to discuss gratitude. And I must admit, it’s for these reasons that only until a few years ago, I never really considered it a part of my life. Sure, I’m grateful and always have been, I’m certainly not an ingrate.. but I never really considered what Living In Gratitude meant and how practicing this simple concept could change my life.

I was introduced to gratitude as a practice when I took Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Bootcamp course (now called Art Biz Accelerator-a segment of her Art Career Success System.) Taking this course and later, becoming a part of her Inner Circle were two of the best things I ever did for my art business. So much of Art Biz Bootcamp was helpful toward building my art business and many of the lessons learned have remained in my daily, weekly and monthly business tasks, including my gratitudes list. I had often heard that writing a daily list of gratitudes was helpful, but I always thought it had to be this profound list of great and wonderful thoughts. What Alyson impressed upon me the most was that the list of gratitudes can really be quite simple. To illustrate how simple, I shared 20 (plus 1) of my most repeated 2019 gratitudes below. I do them everyday before I go to bed and I always write them-writing them is important as it reinforces the idea. Also important is to write them as complete sentences beginning with ‘I am grateful for..’ or ‘I am thankful for..’ Alyson suggests five gratitudes a day, but I usually write just three. You can do them in the morning or evening as it’s best to do them as a start or finish for the day-these are the best times for reflection. For me, writing my gratitudes at the end of the day provides me opportunities to take note of a positive things taking place throughout the day so that I can recall those moments and write them down. Noticing these moments helps me get through with a more positive outlook, even on the worst days when nothing seems to be going right. Overall, since doing this, my mindset has greatly improved. I’m able to see the half full glass, smile and be more relaxed even when I feel like exploding. Take it from a skeptic, Living In Gratitude really does work!

  1. I am grateful for the sun shining on my face.
  2. I am grateful for the time to hike and the beauty I discovered today.
  3. I am grateful I feel inspired and painting is going well this week.
  4. I am grateful my car still runs and takes me to far away places where I can escape.
  5. I am grateful for the pain of the last few months and the opportunities it has opened for healing old wounds.
  6. I am grateful for pizza and chocolate chip cookies.
  7. I am grateful the flowers are blooming outside my window.
  8. I am grateful for my caring friends who listen.
  9. I am grateful people forgive.
  10. I am grateful I am a strong person.
  11. I am grateful I didn’t get a ticket even though I was way speeding.
  12. I am grateful I have a comfortable bed to come home to.
  13. I am grateful I saw the moon and stars tonight.
  14. I am grateful for random heart shaped things on the trail on my hikes.
  15. I am grateful my work is sought after and appreciated.
  16. I am grateful I got to sleep late today.
  17. I am grateful to be in the studio all day today.
  18. I am grateful for the cool thunderstorm today.
  19. I am grateful for my freedom and to live in this country.
  20. I am grateful for new art to look at and for artist painting trades.
  21. I am grateful I get to do what I love everyday.

Holiday Gratitude & Wishes

Sending you all a sincere Thank you for your support throughout the year

&

Wishing you a very Merry Holiday Season and a Creatively Prosperous New Year.

Workshop & Retreat Guide: Which One is Best for You?

I used to see the two descriptives, ‘workshop’ and ‘retreat’ as interchangeable, but over the years have noticed a distinct increase in the use of the word retreat. As I have started to organize my own workshops and retreats, it became more apparent to define the difference for myself and prospective participants.

I hadn’t really given this question much thought until it was posed to me during my interview with Alyson Stanfield for her wonderfully informative Art Biz Podcast. I used to see the two descriptives, ‘workshop’ and ‘retreat’ as interchangeable, but over the years have noticed a distinct increase in the use of the word retreat. As I have started to organize my own workshops and retreats, it became more apparent to define the difference for myself and prospective participants. To my knowledge, no one has formally defined these two things so I’d like to add a bit of a disclaimer that the following guide is based on my own experience and are the guidelines I personally use when promoting and organizing my classes.

Artist Workshops are:

  • A gathering of like-minded individuals for a week or less for the purpose of learning, completing a project, exchanging ideas and/or discussion.
  • Usually takes place at a facility/house/room/building equipped specifically for the workshop, but may also be used for other purposes at other times.
  • Taught by a 1-2 professional instructors.
  • Although some may travel a distance to participate in a workshop, many may be also be local. Accommodations and meals may be, but are not always included as part of the workshop.
  • Offered multiple times a year.

Artist Retreats are:

  • The same as workshops in concept (see point one above), but are scheduled for a longer period of time-at least a week or more.
  • The location is important, is most often a destination locale and is often explored as a significant part of inspiration for the retreat.
  • There are side/field trips scheduled as part of the workshop inspiration.
  • Food, yoga, meditation, spa, and other body pampering activities are scheduled or available to the retreat participant.
  • Participants likely travel to the destination and are encouraged to stay at the location for the duration of the retreat in order to totally immerse themselves in the experience. Accommodations and meals are usually included as part of the retreat.
  • A unique experience and may be offered as a once in a lifetime or as a rarity.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and informative. Please see this post for a comprehensive listing of my 2020 Artist Workshops & Retreats.