Art workshop

31 Oct

Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate.

This past Saturday, I attended a fantastic art workshop at Plaza Artist Materials in downtown Nashville. Before I go any further, I want you to know I was not paid to write this post by anyone. I am writing this because I had a really good experience there and want to share with you all.

So, Plaza Arts offered a ton of free workshops from airbrush to matt cutting to color pencils to pen and ink (which caught my eye) to oil painting. But what really caught my eye was the acrylic workshop. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the blurb closely so I didn’t realize what a treat I was in for.

I was able to chat with the gentleman manning the Pentel pen booth (somehow, I didn’t catch his name) who helped me find a great pen to use in my journals. Not all pens write over acrylic paints, so this is a big deal for me. He let me try out various pens and markers and I settled on this beauty:

Said gentleman tried to show me where I could find it amongst all the other pens and markers in the store, but we couldn’t find it. He assured me that he would alert the store and then proceeded to give me the pen to take home and try out. I don’t know if you know this, but some of these pens/markers are expensive (upwards of $15 and more) so you can imagine my delight at getting to try one out for free. (Which I have and I love so guess who will continue to buy this pen?!)

I was able to rush through the rest of the booths before heading back to the warehouse where the acrylic workshop was set up. Bruce Baker, the GM, introduced the speaker and thanked everyone for coming. He then informed everyone that the $10 fee that we all agreed to had been waived because he really wanted the workshops to be an avenue to introduce folks to new mediums and give them a chance to try them for  free. This way, if someone discovered something new they liked, they could purchase it (say a new gel medium) and if not, no harm no foul. He said they asked folks to register for the class and pay the $10 fee so they had an idea of how many people would turn out (he even refunded money to people who already paid). I share this because there were over 30 people sitting there, waiting to hear about acrylic paints, and well, you do the math. I think it’s pretty classy of an establishment in this day and age to put their customers before profit.

Mr. Baker then went on to inform us that our speaker, Patti Brady, was in his opinion, the most knowledgeable person he knows (20 years in the business) of acrylic paints. After hearing her presentation, I have to agree. If I hadn’t know that Ms. Brady was an artist, one look at her would have convinced me and I mean this with the utmost respect. Ms. Brady stood before us with pink hair, a patterned top under another patterned dress (I don’t think I could have pulled it off, but it totally worked for her!) over leggings topped off with a chunky necklace that featured some type of buggy creature. I didn’t have my camera with me, but check out her website (she’s got a few photos there, but more importantly, you can view some of her artwork).

Ms. Brady briefly shared with us that she is the Working Artist Program Director for Golden Artist Colors. She has developed curriculum for acrylic classes for artists and art educators. If you’re still with me (I know this is text heavy, but I promise there are some photos coming) I will share a secret with you. I want to be Patti Brady when I grow up. She is so freaking cool! She has been an artist for over 20 years and has herself to thank for her position at Golden. Back in the day, she wrote Golden a proposal outlining what she’d like to do for the company. Obviously, they recognized how special she is!

So, back to her presentation. She told us that she was going to share all types of mediums: heavy body, fluids, open, gels, polymers, airbrush acrylics, interference, digital grounds, pastes, varnish; I felt like a kid about to be let into a candy store! She was going to take about each one and pass around a sample board where she used that item. So, she refereed us to our packets:

Our packets contained all kinds of goodies, but I love the color chart. Ms. Brady shared that each color chart is painted by hand and each artist signs it (mine was done by Laura). This color chart helped show the difference between modern and mineral pigments (I won’t go into it, but it was fascinating!)

It would be too much for me to try to share everything from that workshop, but I learned a lot, was inspired by her artwork and yes, I did even buy a fluid by Golden (as well as a much needed new brush). It was one of the fluids she shared with us called Quinacridone Crimson and it is a beautiful color!!

We were also treated to a goody bag of some different products. I can’t wait to try them out!

I could share so much more, but this is already pretty wordy. Again, this is not a promotion or advertisement and I wasn’t paid to write any of this. But I write about my art so I thought you might enjoy hearing about some of the products and experiences I have along the way.

Come back this Saturday for another art journal layout. And as always, I love to hear what you think. Please leave comments!


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