October was a record month for me as far as taking workshops goes. I started out with a workshop in Charlottesville with Alan Berkshire on the 13th. This was organized by the Central Virginia Watercolor Society and was the first involvement I've had with them since joining this year. I enjoyed the day, met really nice folks and liked the instructor. However, he wasn't a particularly good teacher. His work was very nice but he seemed ill at ease with teaching and for the entire morning he demonstrated how he paints but didn't have much to say. The small room in the hotel was far too crowded. They either need to find a bigger space or allow fewer students. After lunch, the participants got to work on their own paintings but we were pretty much left to our own devices unless we had specific questions. We had to request a critique at the end of the class and it wasn't very satisfactory. I did a piece that might work as a study for something else, but on its own, wasn't very impressive.
In contrast, the workshop at LibertyTown Arts Workshop with Lynn Goldstein on the 20th was terrific. The only problem was it should have been 2 days. Lynn is a fantastic teacher as well as an accomplished artist. Her pastel work is amazing and she shared many of her techniques with us. I think everyone got a lot out of this class. I wasn't the only one who had never worked with pastels and we all enjoyed the process. I would like very much to take more workshops with Lynn. I did a small landscape that I was fairly happy with but I'm still working on it. Like with oils, you can keep adding pastel colors on top of colors to keep pushing the painting around. For a beginning work, I was happy with it.
On Oct. 23 and 24, I took another acrylic workshop with Steve Griffin in Colonial Beach. This one was organized by Jarrett Thor Fine Arts and held in a lovely bed and breakfast owned by one of the participants. Steve taught us how he uses scraping and sanding to create a very textural, but smooth surface. The painting shown below is the one I left for the exhibit at Jarrett Thor. I put it outside to dry and an oak leaf fell on it so I took the photo with the leaf. I'm actually toying with the idea of painting the leaf on when I get the picture back. What do you think?