Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review of Fine Arts Weekend Event at Art Supply Warehouse

I am always on the look out for ways to expose my kids to the fine arts, in a fun and enjoyable manner that goes beyond visiting the local museum.  So I was happy to find out that the local "Art Supply Warehouse" store was hosting a fine arts event on their property.  The event 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.  This was a must attend event for my family.
The event itself is a three day event that offered different workshops on each day.  A family could attend each day and try a different art form.  There were also demonstrations put on by a variety of artists.  They also offered an opportunity to create a piece of art through their "Remaster The Masters" event to display on their "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 amixed media demonstration 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.
Lon Dekkers demonstrating the Rembrandt Soft Pastels
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.
My daughter's apple drawing

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
Oil Painting without a frame.
change how a painting looks.  The above the painting is great.  However, when you add a frame
Oil Painting with a white frame.
it does change 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,

who 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.
Lisa Engelbrecht Artist Trading Card Projects
Here are samples of some of the ones made by the workshop attendees.

and some by Lisa.  Lisa has a great blog that lists upcoming classes and events that she will be participating in.  She also has a blog post with a great tutorial on this type of fun lettering.

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.

Here are just a few examples of some of the shirts people created.

The event lasted three days and offered many more workshops than we were able to attend.  My family appreciates stores like "Art Supply Warehouse" who give us a chance to try out different artistic mediums and provide these 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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