Let Me Break It Down for Ya...A Workshop Experience

When you walk in the door to my teaching studio, you're going to be greeted by this:

This is Romeo. He's the main security and food supervisor here. Don't worry, if you're not a fan of poodles, Walter, the studio cat is always on duty.

This is Romeo. He's the main security and food supervisor here. Don't worry, if you're not a fan of poodles, Walter, the studio cat is always on duty.

I've held a lot of workshops here in the nearly 5 years since I started painting and I've received some really touching feedback from my students and the students of my guest teachers. But there's always one or two artists who tell me how terrified they are to take a workshop. They would love to do it, but they don't feel 'qualified' to, or worse, they admit to feeling down right intimidated. So I thought it might be helpful to break it down for ya. 

ON DAY 1:

I love having artists from all over the world visit my studio. The farthest away so far has been an artist from Australia who came here to learn from the amazing Stanka Kordic. Every artist I invite here to teach has one thing in common: I want to learn from them. Each of them has brought with them their own unique style of teaching and philosophy on making art. 

In almost all of my workshops there are a wide variety of artists at all levels, so I do my best to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable. This isn't a competition. It's my job to help you move from where you are to your own next level of understanding. This point is so important, I even go so far as to recommend to my students to use the same canvas for the whole workshop and wipe it clean at the end of the day to reuse the next. This takes the pressure to "make a masterpiece" off of everyone. You can take photos of your work in stages, just like you do of my demonstrations. The point is to gain new understandings...not make something better than the person next to you.

Model Relations:

From my point of view, values is one of the most powerful elements to master in painting. If you want to create high drama, an easy way to get there is through high contrasted light. However, weather you're painting a wide or narrow range of values, if you don't understand how to create that contrast on your palette, you won't get there in your painting. Below, I'm about to trace the shadow that is falling on this model's beautiful face. Of course I've asked her first, if it is okay if put my hand in her face and maybe even touch her face. I stress to all my students the serious importance of communicating with your models, not only your expectations of them, but your gratitude for their hard work and most importantly ask for their permission in EVERYTHING you do when they are on the model stand. As my good friend Michelle Dunaway says, "She is not a bowl of fruit." You should be careful not to objectify your model. Be respectful and clear and generous and your models will love you and work very hard to help you make the best art you can make. 

Our gorgeous Amelia. I'm so fortunate to have the most elegant and professional models on my call list.

Our gorgeous Amelia. I'm so fortunate to have the most elegant and professional models on my call list.

Creating an interesting and clear value pattern is paramount in what I consider great work. Here is a shot of my palette as I mixed general flesh tones in dark, middle and light values. This three value mixing philosophy is a cornerstone of my painting practice.

Creating an interesting and clear value pattern is paramount in what I consider great work. Here is a shot of my palette as I mixed general flesh tones in dark, middle and light values. This three value mixing philosophy is a cornerstone of my painting practice.

I love working from the live model. It is a serious exercise that when practiced regularly will sharpen your painting from photos skills. For me it isn't practical to work from the live model for the bulk of my work. I'm too introverted. I want to be able to sing and dance with abandon when I work and I'm too self conscious to be myself in front of a model. I also find it difficult to schedule a model for the days on end it may take me to create what I consider a quality work. I pay my models generously, affording a live model for 30 days would be the real challenge. 

I've found working from photographs more difficult than working from life in some ways, but in terms of working on my own time in my own quirky ways, its easier. I can zoom in to incredible detail without breathing down my models neck. With the help of Photoshop I can maneuver, edit and manipulate many photos to create whole new references and control the design and composition. There's so much more to it than simply copying a photo, and my 20 plus years of experience in Photoshop makes it easy for me to get right to the heart of the matter and show my students the best and most valuable tools to creating masterful photographic references and subsequently masterful art work.

Apparently, I 'rap' my workshop demo's to a wicked beat. LOL! Thanks to my student Barbara M. for these great candid photos. It's 2017 and artists have a myriad of tools, (tools photographers and film makers have mastered) at our fingertips. I love to show my students my strategies for painting from photos on your monitor and on print. You're not lost if you don't have Photoshop! There are wonderful advantages to both approaches.

Apparently, I 'rap' my workshop demo's to a wicked beat. LOL! Thanks to my student Barbara M. for these great candid photos. It's 2017 and artists have a myriad of tools, (tools photographers and film makers have mastered) at our fingertips. I love to show my students my strategies for painting from photos on your monitor and on print. You're not lost if you don't have Photoshop! There are wonderful advantages to both approaches.

Just a few minutes into this selective start demonstration and it is already starting to breath and look like Amelia.

By day three we're really working. All the nerves of day one are long gone. Folks have started to make new friends, go to lunch together and when we're painting, turn inward toward their own growth instead of focusing on what others are doing. Each workshop I teach is a remarkable experience for me. I'm astounded at the change I see in people, in their understanding and their growth and I'm privileged to be there for their light bulb moments and to cheer them on through the hard work of learning.

Click here to see my 2017 workshop schedule and the schedule for artists I've invited to teach here!

REVIEWS:

Here's some of what my students have said about my workshops:

“ Absolutely loved your enthusiasm and approach-ability! Very generous with your knowledge
and patience with (particularly) my lack of painting experience! Very encouraging to me! Especially at my advanced age. I can learn this if given enough time. —Cheryln Claman

“ I can’t express how wonderful it is to have an artist who is so capable of simplifying techniques into an understandable format. Tina is an amazing artist and incredible teacher.
I learned so much! —Terri Horner

“I love your energy and your kindness. Thank you for encouraging us to do our best. Thanks for taking extra time on lunch and breaks to give us hints and tips and answering questions. Can’t wait and hope to make it to Tuscany [in 2017 to paint with you again]!” — Jenny Hambleton, Salt Lake City, UT

“Tina is an extraordinary artist! She is open and honest about her methods and approaches
to her work. I found her comments and direction during the workshop very helpful
to me.” — Rose Moore, Rio, IL

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I learned so much at this workshop! You gave so many valuable tips and answered all my questions. I love the way you taught by demonstrating! I learned so much just being able to watch you paint. You are a wonderful artist and an inspiration to me. “ — Amy Van Fossen, IA

“Demonstrations for me are the best way I absorb information on the painting process. Although I worked in acrylic, I found all the information given easily adaptable to all mediums, especially in terms of color mixing. Thank you for your generosity in your style of teaching. — Brad Bisbey, IA

“Tina, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to attend your amazing workshop. Your warm, cheerful demeanor and refreshingly genuine personality made these past three days an absolute pleasure. The techniques and tricks, on how to handle oil paint , as well as how to achieve beautiful, rich skin tones will forever be implemented into my process. I very much appreciated the insights and wisdom on the difference between P.R. and marketing, on getting our artwork out there for potential collectors and clients. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!” Dean Larsen — UT

“I have met many wonderful artists and I have met many wonderful teachers, but it its rare to meet someone who embodies both great artist and great teacher. Tina’s demeanor is friendly and accessible. She seamlessly moves from beginner to advanced and knows how to handle any painting situation and any personality type. She’s a gracious host and she truly loves what she does!”
— Rachel Mindrup, Nebraska

“Tina is very knowledgeable and insightful. She has a way of looking at a painting and problem solving in the simplest way.” — Shrina Baumann, UT

“I have taken a few art lessons over the years, but have no formal training. Every time I approached my easel I would dread the struggle and frustration that would come, because I was so confused. I called Tina and arranged to take private lessons via the internet. Seven months later I can hardly wait to get to the easel. I have so much more confidence because I have had skill instruction. I learned about drawing, values, color theory, how to mix paint, brush strokes, edges, composition, choosing the right materials, and especially, I learned to find the joy in my artwork. These lessons were the best investment
I have ever made.” — Marcy Roth, Arizona

“I enjoyed my individual lessons sooo much that I will be attending workshops and group lessons as soon as possible! Tina is a great teacher as well as a wonderfully talented artist.
I feel so privileged that she generously shares her wealth of expertise, her comfortable space, and her inspiring passion for painting!” — Dot Charest, Kansas
“One of the best workshops I’ve ever attended. Tina is very knowledgeable plus has the ability to teach. Another asset is her ability to make every artist feel successful regardless of their level of skill.”
— Theresa Eisenberg, Tampa FL

“Thoroughly enjoyed your workshop. You presented all the information in a practical, fun and thoughtful way. Few instructors are as generous with info and dispel all the mystery. I take home so many new approaches and ideas on how to move my own art to the next level. Thanks for being a great teacher! And such an encouraging presence.” — Laney Haake, Kansas City, Missouri

“It’s always great to learn from different artists, especially at the high caliber Tina is. Even though I have been painting a while, I feel I was beginning to hit a plateau. I wanted to hone in on my style and absorb as much knowledge (painting & business) as I could. Tina surpassed my expectations. She is very willing to pass on the knowledge and expertise she has, and I am truly grateful to have worked with her.” — Kathryn Zansler New Orleans,
LA