Reported by Maria Del Pinto
I am always on the look out for new ways to expose my kids to the fine arts, in a fun and enjoyable manner. I was lucky to find out that the local Art Supply Warehouse store was hosting a fine arts event on their property. It was free to the public, which was a major boost to my pocket book. Additionally, they encouraged children and adults of all ages to participate (which meant they would have workshops that were child-friendly).
The “Fine Arts Event” was a three-day event that offered several different workshops to choose from on each day. There were also hourly demonstrations put on by a variety of artists. The event also offered an opportunity to create a piece of art through the “Remaster The Masters” event to display on the Catalyst art class space wall.
We anticipated that we would probably spend the day at the event, so my kids packed a light lunch and off we went to the “Fine Arts Weekend Event”. The first stop was at the store, so we could stock up on the art supplies we were low on. The Art Supply Warehouse offers a 25% sale at least two times a year and this year it was timed at the same time as the fine arts event. We have learned to shop first because at those prices they tend to run out of the things we need very quickly.
Once the shopping was completed, we went to the first demonstration which was sponsored by Strathmore.
This was a mixed media workshop where the kind folks at Strathmore provided each participant with one of their new mixed media pads to test out with watercolors, charcoals and pastels.
There were students of all ages taking this workshop.
If you are into junk journals, art journals, mixed media pieces, etc., you may find that these pads are great. The instructor had samples of different materials that she used on these pads. The first one was a page from her Strathmore Mixed Media Pad showing the use of Pan Pastels and Stencils.
The second was her Strathmore Mixed Media Pad showing the use of Golden’s Acrylic and hot sticks.
The third was a sample of air brushing on the same pad.
The fourth was an actual in class project by one of the students using watercolor sticks put down in layers to get vibrant colors. She used a lot of water and still the paper did not buckle, which I think is a plus.
The next workshop we attended was soft pastels workshop which was presented by Lon Dekkers and sponsored by Rembrandt.
You may wonder what is so special about these pastels, for us it is that they do not contain any heavy metals (such as cadmium, lead, and cobalt). My daughter has certain allergies and these did not cause any reaction. The colors are also very rich and easy to work with.
Lon showed how to use the side of the pastel to fill in larger areas in the drawing.
He also went over several different ways to use the pastels to create depth and light.
He was very patent with my teenager, and happily answered all her questions. She asked him to do a whole apple without smudging the colors on the apple, so she could better understand how the use of particular colors brought light and depth into the apple drawing.
Her apple drawing came out really well.
Unfortunately, my apple turned into pumpkin (thank goodness that I do not have to rely on my own drawing skills to create cards).
My daughters definitely loved this workshop and I am sure I will see a set of these soft pastels added to their Christmas wish lists.
The next workshop we attended was an oil painting workshop which featured paints from the Jack Richeson Oil Paint – Shiva Collection.
The teacher, Jeff Morrow, for this workshop was a very patent artist. Teaching oil painting to a group of individuals of varied ages and experience is no easy task.
He taught us how to combine colors, use the various tools and some different painting techniques.
He also shared tips with the students, one of which is to think about perspective when working on a painting. This was helpful, since many of the students had never used oil paints before and were feeling bit nervous about working with them.
Another fun tip was that he showed us how the right frame can change how a painting looks. The above the painting is great. However, when you add a frame……it definitely changes the way the finished painting looks.
Another fun workshop we were able to attend was an “Artist Trading Card” workshop. In this workshop we had the opportunity to try out the Daler Rowney’s FW Acrylic Inks.
This workshop was taught by calligraphy artist and author, Lisa Engelbrecht.
She taught us some fun techniques for creating our own Artist Trading Cards.
I am a big fan of making Artist Trading Cards because of their size. I find that Artist Trading Cards are a manageable craft project and allow me to try out a variety of textiles, materials, etc. on them within a short time span.
Here are samples of some of the ones made by the workshop attendees.
and some by Lisa:
The “Fine Arts Event” also had a very cool “Remaster the Masters” project. Where we got to create our t-shirts master pieces with the new Sharpie paint colors. The store provided us with a fun t-shirt to paint.
They had all the pens out and the colors were fabulous. Below are just a few examples of some of the shirts people created.
My daughter drew her version of “Nyan Cat” which apparently is a popular cartoon cat with a “pop toasty” body.
The event lasted three days and offered many more workshops than we were able to attend. My family and I appreciate stores like Art Supply Warehouse who give us a chance to try out different artistic media and provide these fun educational opportunities. If you are interested in similar events, I highly recommend checking out the online calendar of local art stores and museums who often sponsor similar events in your area.
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