I had the pleasure of taking a 5-day workshop with awesome artist Dreama Tolle Perry in mid-June. The preceding 6 weeks had been very stressful for me, with the loss of my brother on May 6 and lots of travel. I typically get fairly stressed during workshops by trying to absorb all that I can and by trying to produce "keepers" while simultaneously trying new styles and colors and methods. If the traumas of the last 6 months have taught me nothing else, it is that we need to enjoy every moment and not worry about things that are just not important in the grand scheme of things.
Therefore I entered into this workshop experience with a new set of goals....to place less pressure on myself to "produce", to enjoy it more, and to appreciate being an artist and getting to hang out with other artists for 5 days. I didn't set out to learn to paint like Dreama, she paints like her, I need to paint like me. But my main goal was to learn how she achieves her gorgeous colors. I feel like I achieved these goals. I am still working on adapting her style and palette into my own version, but I REALLY enjoyed this workshop and got a LOT out of it.
This is an 8x8 "musical" painting. We set up the canvas and we rotated from easel to easel and painted a bit on each other's painting as we went. I knew Dreama did this at her workshops and I could not fathom what we could learn from such a haphazard process. Boy was I wrong! It was very evident from the start that I would need to assess the painting quickly and do what I could to get the most bang for the buck.... focus on what needed attention the most. It also made me let go of any control or any plans I had for a definite outcome. I approached each time at each easel with an immediacy that I need to direct to my own work at home. Dreama advocates taking lots of breaks (which I am all for lol). So when I come back to my work I can achieve a fresher look by thinking what needs fixing the most. Do it and move on. I reworked and adjusted the musical painting enough that I feel like it is my own now and I feel like valuable lessons were learned along the way. Who knew?