Monday, July 27, 2009

Rebecca Crowell workshop

Wow, you blink and weeks and weeks go by. It's been busy recently, with a few summer trips, some non-art activities, and a workshop, so I haven't posted. But this post is about that workshop.

A few months ago I encountered the work of Rebecca Crowell, an artist who works in cold wax and has developed ways to build depth and richness through layers. Her work can remind you of old walls or ancient frescoes; it just has that deep, grounded feeling. So I emailed her, asking if she was planning a workshop on the west coast. She replied and said she didn't have one in the works, but was available. Being pretty much inexperienced at setting up workshops, of course I decided to set this one up. It was a lot of work, but it was wonderful! We had a total of eight students, all talented and passionate. And my gallery, Gallery 2611, proved to be a wonderful, bright space to work. Here's the set-up:

Oil and Wax workshopAs a teacher, Rebecca is a thoughtful and perceptive, balancing demonstrations and presentations with time to play with what we learned, and communicating with each student based on her personal concerns. I loved how the room felt when everyone was buried in her own work, and a focused hush descended. We also, interestingly, had scads of passers by come in, curious about what we were doing.

The workshop was three days, and the cold wax was dry enough to work over those days so everyone came out with finished or near-finished work. Here are two of mine that I think need a few more layers. But you can see that they form a good under layer for something rich and deep. The original jpg is pretty big, so if you click it you can see a lot of detail.

Connie Kleinjans abstract art
What's next? I can intuit that there are ways to combine Rebecca's approach with my texturing techniques. I have ideas swirling around in my head, and I now get to have the fun of playing with them.