Tuesday, October 5, 2010

double workshops today

Each of these cards is 3.5" x 2.5", the first is watercolor and sumi-e ink, the next is encaustic with oil pastel

I am excited to be teaching an entirely new group of students today. I was asked by one of my educators from graduate school to come in and teach a watercolor demo this morning to a group of artists and teachers at Express Yourself. Then later this afternoon I will be introducing an artist trading card workshop to a group of 30 (students and educators combined). When I was in graduate school one of the classes in our curriculum was held at Express Yourself where we learned how to incorporate all different modalities of learning with all different types of learners. 

"Express Yourself immerses young people into the creative world of music, dance, and visual arts and empowers them with life-changing results. Express Yourself celebrates cultural diversity and collaboration with isolated youth from 17 Department of Mental Health residential and inpatient facilities who form their own large community" (taken from the express yourself website).

In preparation for today's workshop, I have covered blank cards with wax, students will be given etching tools (cautiously) and oil pastels to use freely on their cards. There will also be a wide variety of other art supplies and collage materials and students can choose any medium of art that appeals to them. Because I will be teaching a diverse group of students with all levels of art experience, I will have to play it by ear. 

What is so amazing to me is that when I first taught the ATC lesson plan in graduate school I was able to use the small cards as my own personal experiment, learning how to manage a new medium (painting with wax) and it made my learning process much more comfortable and less intimidating. I was willing to paint human form and figures uninhibited, this was a first! As a result, I am now using encaustics in my newest body of work and I have received great successes. 

Yesterday I heard I was accepted into the 66th Annual Members Prize Show at the Cambridge Art Association and last week I received the 2nd place award at the Swampscott Arts Association; both shows I had submitted small encaustic works made with a small card design combined with collage elements in presentation. I used a shadow box frame, I mounted the card on foam core, floated it on watercolor paper, and used my chop stamp underneath the card. 

Sample of an early encaustic work, collage elements complete the presentation:

The artist trading cards I made initially, combined with my willingness to try something new, led my art in an entirely new direction. My hope is I will be able to inspire and share this creative process with the students I have today as well as expose them to a wide variety of art mediums in a non-intimidating way.


  1. Robin- Congratulations on your win and on your other show acceptance! Awesome stuff!!
    Your class sounds wonderful. I'm sure the students will get so much out of it. I like that you use a small format to experiment- it makes perfect sense.
    Your posted ATC's are lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are ROCKIN' and a-ROLLIN', sister! It's exciting to see so many good things going on for you. Especially as I recall the funk you were going through just last month. Staying true to what you do is paying off! Yay!!!


  3. I think I'll be waxing some of those ATCs I bought last year--I should have been in your workshop today.

    Great news on all fronts. I love the watercolor and sumi-e card.

  4. You guys are the best! so supportive and positive... the energy feeds into a cycle and we all get to share it (that's what I think about blogging and interacting). I just got home from the 2nd workshop and it was a busy successful day. I go back a week from Thursday and teach the art card workshop one more time, to a younger group of active kids. We won't be using encaustic cards then, and maybe those kids will be willing to trade but tonight's group had an attachment issue with their small art works (which was fine) and trading didn't happen! I do think making small works is a good practice and makes trying new things easier. I think you were doing it with those mini mask paintings, Don. And I would have loved to have had you in the workshop today, Hallie. Pam, your drawings could translate as a simplified version of an art card if you were interested... all that matters is size. I just know for me I really like the small, manageable art card space.

    Thank you all of you, for your wonderful comments.

  5. Congrats on your successes, Robin. Way to go!

  6. Thanks for your support, Casey.

  7. I am sorry I'm behind reading your blog because of my computer problems. Congrates on your success!! Love the images you are showing. I must try that wax that is sitting in my studio :O)