The Workshop (3-18-08)

I received a phone call the other day from a the lady that heads the local Art Guild here. She found my work online and thought it was fantastic and then invited me to teach a workshop on the technique to the members of the Guild. I was hesitant, hesitant because I’ve never taught anything before and the last speech class I took was about 12 years ago. Naturally I accepted the invitation.I prepared a nice front & back handout for the class. I printed 20 of them because the Guild leader said that you’ll typically get from 5 to 20 people attending the Paint-Alongs (as they call them). I ended up with about 17 or 18 students. I bought extra supplies as everyone needs a white & colorless blender pencil for this technique. I brought along strait-edges and round objects (old hard-drives actually). I actually took quite a few of my large pieces for examples and also my small book portfolio that has small prints of my work. Something that is a super handy device for carrying artwork in are large black trash-bags. Yes, trash-bags. While some people might find this a little disrespectful to the art as trash normally goes in trash bags, I say use what works the best. Trash-bags are easy to use, protect the work from rain and other external moisture and are incredibly light-weight (shockingly enough). I’m not saying to mail your art in a trash bag but for basic transportation it works pretty well.

So the entire class arrived before I did. I wasn’t late or anything but I guess everyone is used to showing up early. It was a very loose and laid-back setting. There was very little technology for me to use to present my class as all I got was a huge overhead mirror and a wireless microphone. Some kind of projector would have been extremely useful in a setting like that. I set up my example-work on the available tables and on the piano that was in the corner of the room and laid out all of my other materials on one of the tables and the teacher’s desk.

And then it began.

And by miracles of miracles I didn’t die. There was no pounding of my heart against my chest as it tried to escape. There was no shaking, there was no stuttering, and there was no muddled thoughts. There was no nervousness. It was impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever given a presentation without being nervous and having my heart trying to break its way out of my ribcage.

Nampa Workshop by Kathryn Koozer

It turned out to be a rather fun teaching experience. The students asked questions and we all interacted well. They were a fun group of ladies and we all seemed to get along with each other. There were a few ladies with experience with colored pencils and many without. Some had trouble with the concept of fracturing the image but most figured it out.

Nampa Workshop by Kathryn Koozer

The workshop lasted from 10am to about 3pm with an hour lunch break at noon. It was long enough to get a good start on a small piece and since I had them working on pieces about 10 inches by 12 inches it worked out alright.

At the end of the workshop I had them each write a comment in my comment book. This is the comment book that I’ve had at my solo show up in Moscow and at my BFA show. It’s my official comment/feedback book. I think my favorite comment in that book is, ‘Where are the hotdogs?’ Just because it’s just so ridiculous.

– Kathryn Koozer

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