Thursday, June 2, 2011

Learning from the Best

They say the way to combat old age is to constantly keep learning.  This is not an issue for me - I enjoy reading about new things and learning new things (like art techniques) every day!

One of my favorite ways to learn is by taking workshops from artists I truly admire.  The first such artist I was so fortunate to learn from was Jill Berry, who taught her "Personal Geographies" class at Valley Ridge Art Studio back in March of 2009.

I had no idea what to expect at that workshop - it was the first one I had taken, EVER.  But Jill, coupled with
 the extraordinary setting of Valley Ridge and host Katherine Engen's hospitality, made it an unforgettable experience.  Not only did I learn about the history of cartography (something I've been interested in for a long time) but I discovered out-of-the-box ways to think about what a "map" is.  This non-linear thinking has helped me think about other things in new and exciting ways and has enhanced my artwork, maps or otherwise.  I am very excited because the companion book to Jill's workshop arrives in stores in November!  WOO HOO!

I am VERY excited - another of my collage heroes is coming to Fond du Lac.  Yes, I get to see one of my collage idols AND I DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TRAVEL!  :D

In two and a half weeks (but who's counting), Randel Plowman will be teaching us his "The Art of Collage: An Exploration of Materials and Techniques" class on Saturday, June 18th at the Windhover Center for the Arts, right here in little ol' Fond du Lac!  :D  Here's the link to his page online and to the event on Facebook, in case you're interested - but hurry!  The class limit is 15-20 and it's already half-filled!  

If you've read Masters: Collage, then you already know it's Randel who curated the book.  I've discovered new and wonderful collage artists to swoon over because of this book, and it's constantly inspiring me to try out new ideas.  If you're into collage and you don't already own this book, I highly recommend buying it!  

What else have I learned from these two wonderful artists?  That if you love what you do you can share your passion with other people.  I love teaching my collage techniques with others and have been doing so for two years now, mainly at awesome libraries like the Kewaskum Public Library and the Greendale Public Library.  But the last week of July I am part of an amazing retreat called Inspire my Life, formed by my friend and artist Kim Geiser.  It's her birthday that weekend and this was what she wanted to do to celebrate!  Talk about sharing your gifts!  I am first up for the weekend - my class runs from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 at Persimmons in Manitowoc.  If you're in our around the area come and check it out - all of the classes are affordable and there are MANY to choose from!  :D

I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be immersed in so much art.  Nothing rejuvenates my creative side like being surrounded by art and artists.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this scene, both as student AND coach!  Let the artiness begin!  :D


  1. I so wish I lived in your area!

    This is a wonderful article, it makes me want to go do things. In my copious free time, ha ha. Seriously, I have got to find more time to be creative!

    How weird, the word verification thing came up with "cants". Can'ts, maybe? I wonder if it's trying to tell me to stop being so negative? I'll take that as a sign and try to find more positive in my life. :)