Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Open Studio Class--A Creative Community

On Saturday, I again traveled over to Gainesville, Florida, for Linda Blondheim's Open Studio Class. For this class, we each bring our own works in progress (especially those that seem not to be progressing :>) to Linda's retail loft studio above the Paddiwhack shop. We work at tables or bring an easel and enjoy ample opportunity to ask for advice and direction as we plan or paint. Linda is an ideal art teacher; she respects each student's vision and style (never trying to push us to paint her way), yet offering keen insights and helpful suggestions to help us do our best work. I wish she were nearer, as the drive takes me over an hour and a half each way--but it's all well worth it whenever I can make the trip.
Six of us came to paint this time, so we had plenty of kind encouragement and the inspiration of participating in a creative community for a couple of hours. At her Art Notes blog, designed as a kind of on-line journal describing her work and thoughts, Linda has posted a photo of this delightful group with the pieces we worked on. In the photos here, you see several of us at work with Linda's guidance. In the background, you can see the amazing paintings Linda shows in her Paddiwhack loft. I include a photo (not the best shot, I fear) of my 16" x 20" woodland path "work in progress". The path itself needs the most work. Once that is in better form, I will spruce up other areas, especially the intended focal point in the top right quadrant, with a double trunk tree and some red-orange wildflowers catching the sunlight. Hopefully, I will have the final version to show you fairly soon, although I alternate working on this piece with several smaller paintings that are on a deadline, so it will take some time.
Question of the day: Under what circumstances do you prefer working alone on a project, and when do you prefer a creative community?


  1. I am on overload looking at all these gorgeous pieces of art, your own included, Mary! What a fun day this looks to have been. I'm not beyond traveling to the surrounding states to participate in something like this if I have the money and the time. What fun!

    I always like working alone on projects. Always have been sort of a loner despite enjoying the company of people too. Does that make sense? Another dichotomy that is me. LOL I guess the only creative community I have is via blog land and my daughter when she is in her arty mode. I wish I did have a group to get together with though...

  2. Thank you, Sherry. Yes, it was a wonderful, fun day. I also mostly work alone and definitely do not like anyone watching me while I paint. However, the occasional class or lesson does wonders in terms of inspiring me and getting me past a "stuck" time on a piece (and I get stuck a lot :>). I found Linda by accident when I was looking for something else--hope someone like her might come along for you in time.