Even Artists Need a Retreat!
About a month ago I took a trip – solo – to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It was “me-time”. I decided to plan this trip as an “Artist’s Retreat”. I spent 6 whole days in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area. I packed my drawing and painting tools, including paper and a portable easel; and I packed my camera. When I travel, I like to photograph landscapes and/or subject matter that inspires me to paint later.
My days were spent in creative pursuits, including a glass factory, a tour of the galleries at Canyon Road, exploration of Taos, NM, a 1,000 year old Pueblo and all the sights in between Taos and Santa Fe – taking the high road through the mountains – and stopping to photograph incredible scenery. I learned a bit about the Native American Indians in the area, had terrific New Mexican food, painted, experimented and even managed to read 3 books!
My favorite day, though; was spent with an accomplished and fantastic artist whom I greatly admire, Nancy Reyner. Nancy is an artist, a teacher and an author. She has written a few books on the use of Acyrlics and a book on how to create and critique your own paintings. I would encourage any artist – regardless of medium –to check her out at www.nancyreyner.com. She has really helped me to expand my “toolbox” and take my paintings to a higher level.
I LOVE her work. I came across her paintings online and via You Tube. It was her You Tube video that taught me how to apply gold/silver leaf to canvas and/or wood panels. I love to use these materials as a foundational background to my paintings.
Nancy teaches a couple classes that I have taken online. She is an expert on the use of the Acrylic medium. When I knew I was making a trip to New Mexico; Nancy was gracious enough to join me for lunch and then we went back to her studio for a hands-on workshop. We worked on exercises around the “Pouring” of Acrylic. It is a specific method of painting that produces unexpected results in the most abstract style. And it was sooo. Much. Fun!
We “played” with different textures of acrylic to use as a foundation for paint. We “poured” using pouring medium and water with acrylics and we painted in the abstract. It was a really good workshop because I was able to learn how the various textures work with different types of acrylic paint. Experimenting, observing and learning how paint and mediums interact can be so valuable for an artist – and can lead to such growth creatively.
When I worked in Corporate America, we would have called this “professional development”. Artists can benefit from this as well. Below I have included various products of the workshop – as well as a painting I did after experimenting with the pouring technique.
I would like to thank Nancy for her wonderful mentorship and tutelage. I would recommend her courses to any artist who wants to expand his/her “toolbox” and just play creatively.
As always, I love to hear what my readers are thinking! Feel free to leave me a comment! My next few blogs will continue to highlight Creative Pursuits from my retreat to Santa Fe, NM – so please stay tuned to read more!
For your Information: The online classes I have taken with Nancy Reyner are “The Complete Guide to Acrylic Painting” https://nancyreyner.com/acrylic-techniques-landing-page-1/and “Painting Excellence” https://nancyreyner.com/painting-excellence-landing-page/. You can learn more about Nancy at www.nancyreyner.com.