Friday, January 11, 2013

Art Retreat!

I am extremely happy to announce that I will be attending the 2013 CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreat in Somerset, New Jersey, in July!
I thought that I would have to wait for a "different season of life" to go to an art retreat, especially since they all seem to take place on the other side of the country, in California, Oregon, and Washington State.  When I found out that there was a retreat taking place just an hour-and-a-half from my home, I jumped at the opportunity.

I have all my preferrred classes picked out for Saturday, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning--along with alternates in case I get closed out of any of my first choices--and am poised for registration at the end of this month. 

I plead with all of my online friends on the East Coast to come together during the weekend of July 19-21.  (The retreat actually begins on Wednesday, July 17, but I can't leave my home and family without maternal guidance for quite that long!)  How exciting would it be to meet face-to-face, and to take classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Seth Apter, Joanne Sharpe, Jodi Ohl, Michelle Ward, Jane LaFazio, and other "superstars" from our online world?!

taking place this month.
Every day in January, I get a video tutorial sent directly to my email account with fantastic lessons that have, without exception, made me want to make a beeline for my art room!  You can find a list of this year's contributors here.  At this point, I've only watched about five of the videos, but I have until mid-year to catch up.  Last year was filled with such inspiration, and Nathalie has "done it again" with this year's line up.  (And if you need any more incentive, there are plenty of giveaways to enter!)

One final thought:

After preschool this morning, my 5-year-old daughter Katy told me, "I only painted a short time today, because holding the paintbrush the right way messed up my painting."  I asked her to show me what got messed up, and this is her picture:
She made the little red fish on the left "her way," but the teacher aide told her to hold the paintbrush a different way before she tried to paint her orange fish, which she decided she couldn't do.  I asked her, "So, she said there was a right way to hold the paintbrush?"  "Yes."  "Show me how she wanted you to hold it."  (She held it like a pencil.)  "And how did you want to hold it?"  (She showed me the paintbrush gripped in her hand held like a fist.)  "And she told you that you couldn't hold it that way?"  (Katy nodded.)  "Hmmm, I never really thought there was a right and wrong way to hold a paintbrush.  But I guess we have to listen to what our teachers tell us to do."  Katy then asked if she could sometimes disobey her teachers.  Wow, those are tough conversations!

So, what do you think about her teacher telling her that there is only one way to hold the paintbrush?  I understand that the children have to learn how to hold a pencil properly to write, but I didn't know that translated into rules for painting.  I am curious to hear your opinions!
Enjoy a creative weekend!
I will be back to post soon so you can see some Valentine cards and collages I have prepared for sale at Gabby's Jar in Wayne, PA!


Janet said...

I think any kind of "right way" teaching in art is WRONG! Kids should be encouraged to do art the way they want to do it. Having someone tell her she's doing it wrong could cause her to give up on her creativity and you don't want that!

I'm also doing the Creative Jump Starts and I they make me want to get in the studio and do something.

Jo Murray said...

I'd be happy if teachers let children 'create' in their own way...AND let them colour OUTSIDE the lines.

Linda said...

Hi Andria, First let me say that I'm so excited for you that you are attending some classes in NJ. I will be taking 2 classes in March, that are closer to me, with Joanne Sharpe. Regarding your daughter's art teacher, I'm wondering if she was concerned about her brush being ruined??? Teachers need to be careful what the say to children. Many years ago, I was told by an art teacher that I would never be able to do calligraphy or do a good job with it. That stuck with me, and I had fight those thoughts, big time, when I took classes in calligraphy as an adult. Teachers need to gently encourage. She could have said to try it "this way" to see if she liked it. If she didn't like it - so be it. Linda E.

Anne said...

Obviously Katy's teacher has never heard of the MFPA (Mouth Foot Painting Artists) I think it's a non-profit org. for the support of artists who have had accidents, illness, or physical problems that make it impossible for them to hold a brush in their hand at all. Creative play is NOT the time to teach "right way" and "wrong way".

Carin Winkelman said...

Oh, how cool you are going on a retreat! I'm so happy for you. I made my own little art retreat during the hodidays and that already did me a world of good. Hope you have a wonderful time.

As for the brush holding. How silly. I can kind of understand where the teacher is coming from, of course she thought Katie would have more control over her movements that way in the end, but I think that your daughter will discover that over time all by herself. She should paint the way she wants to and I think all children hold there drawing/paint materials that way in the beginning. And hey, there's people painting with their mouths and feet and doing a better job than I ever could with my hands, no matter how 'correctly' I hold my brush. It's easy to confuse what most consider the most practical way for the 'right' way.

Karen Isaacson said...

sigh - I don't think a retreat is in the cards for me this summer, but how exciting that you're going! and thanks for the reminder on the creative jumpstart. I followed along last year, and then forgot all about it and didn't realize it was happening again. I'm hunkered down with a cold today and this might be a lovely way to spend me day.

Karenann Young said...

I'm so happy for you that you will be able to go to the retreat!!! As far as your daughter's teacher goes, well, what can I say. There is no right or wrong way to hold a paint brush or a pen or pencil. How many of us were told we were doing things the "wrong" way and then just gave up. Shame on the teacher.

Parabolic Muse said...

Andria, I would L O V E to go to the Create retreat in New Jersey. I wanted to last year, and I will want to next year. Right now it seems an impossible dream, but, considering you're going to be there, I may have to make that happen! I know you're going to have a great time, even if I'm not there!

As for the paintbrush incident... I know that sometimes little kids take things a black or white way. It's possible the teacher didn't say that was the only way to hold the brush right. Maybe she said it would be something to get used to to have better control.

I am not in any way saying your sweetie didn't hear right, I just think the teacher may not have conveyed the message correctly to a little girl's way of looking at it. In any case, I feel that however your daughter wants to hold the brush is the way she can hold it. If she wants more control in future, and that doesn't get it for her, she can make up her own mind how to hold the brush! She's pretty young to have to hold it a certain way!