OK so I had THE BEST weekend last weekend. I found out at the very last minute that the fabulous Tracy Verdugo (more about Tracy in a Fan Friday post soon) was going to be teaching one of her amazing Paint Mojo classes only 30 minutes away from where I live! I looked up the web site only to find out the class was full, but figured I'd email anyhow - sometimes people drop out - a few days later I was thrilled to hear I'd snagged the very last spot - was sooooo happy and also a wee bit intimidated as I'd never worked on a canvas before or anything that BIG. Prior to this I thought 12" x 12" was scary, so imagine how I felt about a 30" x 30" canvas!!
Nerves and all, I arrived eager to start and simply had the best 2 days. I LOVED the way Tracy explained her process and guided us all through creating our canvases, the instructions and exercises were clear, the techniques interesting and there was enough flexibility so that everyone was able to put their own unique stamp on the finished product even though we all followed the same process and instructions. I learned new techniques, new ways to combine my art supplies, plus I got painty and inky - so couldn't have been happier. I went through stages of loving and feeling 'meh' about what I was creating, but all of it was fun and non-threatening. Now I don't intend to hang my piece from the day on a wall (though some of them were worthy of this) but that's not what I went for, and I am so excited to create something based on what I learned over the 2 days at Paint Mojo in my journal. For me the most valuable part was being able to discover new ways to use what I already have and being able to ask Tracy about why she does some things and how she takes it from stage 1 to final product (you'll see what I mean below).
My canvas went through the following stages...
And while it's pretty obvious I didn't get it finished - it didn't matter!
Now a word of warning - what you get out of your 2 days with Tracy depends entirely on you. If you arrive willing to try new things, accept that you may not love your piece at every step, be open to doing things you may not have done before and to accept that this is a class with very fluid outcomes (ie it's so totally NOT a paint by numbers class, where you will create an exact replica of Tracy's work!) then you are likely to have a ball - I sure did. It might also help to know Tracy creates colourful, whimsical, abstract, mixed media pieces so that is likely what you'll be learning about. This was so totally out of my comfort zone but it also didn't matter one little bit. Tracy has created this class so that anyone with the will can walk in and have fun and come out having learned something that they can apply to what ever style of painting or creating they choose. Invaluable and if she is ever back this way - book me in! Tracy if you're reading this I actually mean that - if you come back BOOK ME IN :O)
PS Jan Davenport the food was amazing - thank you so much to all the local ladies who helped out with this and who made us first timers feel so welcome.
This was our classroom for the day, at the Saunders Beach Community Centre.
Sadly some of the ladies from out of town had to leave early, so this class snap shot isn't quite complete.
I found Tracy to be an incredibly generous lady who was happy to share her process and techniques. She held nothing back and was inspiring, gentle and encouraging - just what was needed! She taught in a way that was easy to follow, encouraged us all to share and be ourselves and was a complete inspiration through the entire weekend. I now have so many new supplies on my list to buy, but can also see myself actually using them.
These are a few shots of Tracy as she worked on various pieces over the course of the 2 days.
So for all those people wondering what on earth I was doing at a painting class - you would be so surprised to learn that so many of the techniques used by crafters are also used by artists (and vice versa) - see the gap isn't so very wide after all! I learned so much that I can apply and use for making cards or use on my pages or journal - it truly was a valuable experience (can you tell I loved it). Now while you won't see me creating canvases any time soon, I can't wait to try the ideas I learned on a smaller scale. If you ever get a chance to go to one of Tracy's Paint Mojo classes GO, sign up right now - dive on in you'll have a ball!