Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lessons from a Workshop

Last weekend I had the distinct priviledge of spending 3 days in St. Paul Nebraska at a workshop set up by the amazingly talented painter Linda Welsch, hosted by Miletta Vista Winery, and taught by Hal Haloun. All at the same time.  It was a heady brew, and I'm not just talking about the wine.

Hal has been one of my favorite artists for a very long time.  To be able to study with him, even for a short time was a real honor.  As you can see, we're all hanging on his every word, each of us hoping to discover for ourselves some tidbit of information that will answer all our questions.

The view from Hal's easel

In a conversation with friends after I returned home, one asked a simple question, "So, what did you learn?"  There are the obvious answers, of course.  I learned how to mix a fabulous green from Prussian Blue, Indian Red and Cadmium Yellow.  I learned several recipes for mediums for various phases of a painting.  I learned that Miletta Vista's Work Horse is a delicious red wine, and that owner Mick is a heck of a photographer. I even learned a few ghost stories.
Loup River at dusk
But what else? 
There are deeper things, more subtle ideas working around in my head.  It's not about recipes or lists of items to be ticked off as they get wiped off a brush. There were recipes and guidelines, of course, but it goes beyond that. It's the using of the information, making it one's own, developing those recipes in ways that make them personal. 
Highway 281 heading north of St. Paul and  Miletta Vista Winery

What I learned is that I will always be learning.  Regardless of what color mixes I understand today, there will always be others to be learned tomorrow as I learn to see more clearly, more deeply. Even though I paint successfully today, tomorrow presents its own challenges and with them a new set of questions to be asked and answered.  
Oh sure, you were hoping for the answers, weren't you?  If I could give them to you, I would. 

Hal's 2010 Miletta Vista Winery class

My best answer for you is to ask your own questions and see what you find out. What is it you want to know?
That's me, looking for the answers at my easel. Photo courtesy Linda Welsch. 

1 comment:

Karine said...

Wow, I have missed a lot of great blog posts from you, Patty. A workshop! fun.

I think taking information from another artist and teacher and learning how to meld it into your own work is one of the hardest things to do.