review and reflection

Recently I took a workshop with Lisa Call, Working in a Series . . . the pods in the last two posts are what I made as well as the one below, however they are not the most valuable outcome.

A Promise: Strings Attached Encaustic seed-pod, rebar wire, harakeke/flax, amethyst chips, silver crimps. 40 x 25 cm Wendy @ Late Start Studio

A Promise: Strings Attached
Encaustic seed-pod, rebar wire, harakeke/flax, amethyst chips, silver crimps.
40 x 25 cm
Wendy @ Late Start Studio

I think perhaps I need to start this post by explaining that my earlier day-job was as a collaborative consultant, working with classroom teachers in order that they might better meet the needs of the range of students in their class therefore critiquing teachers is something I do automatically.  When I’m in a class or workshop I listen carefully to the language that is used when the teacher talks to other students as well as noting the response they get and I give feedback.  I tell teachers what I see that works for others and me, what they obviously very good at . . . often what teachers do is unconscious however making overt the positive aspects of their teaching makes a good teacher great.  That said . . . what did I think of Working in a Series?

My goals were to go deeper, to have within the series I constructed a body of work that I could extend with a view to exhibiting and integrate some of my skills and interests and I feel very satisfied that I have met them but what else have I gained?

The workshop, and others, is outlined in detail on Make Big Art and although not stated, is primarily for 2D artists, Lisa says as much in one of her recorded lectures. Had I realised that, I probably wouldn’t have taken it however that would have been my loss.

Each week I received a recorded lecture about the focus for the week as well as the week’s assignment.  There were eamils with links to read for further information about the focus, and about artists that illustrated the challenges posed by the week’s assignment.  Our small group posted our assignments in a private Facebook page and after a couple of days, we met on-line for our feedback based on the work as well as the critique that we wrote. Between assignments Lisa was able to be contacted by email and responded to our questions and inquiries.

Significant input + significant output = significant learning

My learning came out of learning how to critique my work, the feedback I received as well as listening to the feedback Lisa gave to others, and contemplating how the weekly focus applied to my work and, importantly, becoming increasingly aware of how I function as an artist.  My learning can only continue as I use the skills, the notes and links I have, as I develop my work in any media . . . . which brings me back to the 2D/3D issue.

I’m not the only 3D artist who has taken the workshop and although almost all the examples of artists work presented are 2D artists, the points that Lisa makes apply to 2D and 3D, and her feedback demonstrated her wealth of knowledge in the field of 3D mixed media art.  I wasn’t disadvantaged although a little tweaking would make it more inclusive, e.g more 3D artists profiled.  (Can you tell I’ve not been asked or expected to write this?)

So who would I recommend take the workshop?  If you’re needing a push, are lacking somewhat in self-discipline, wanting to dig deeper rather than continue with what you know, wanting to learn more about ways to develop a series, take it . . . all of those points applied to me.  It doesn’t matter if you’re beginning or experienced.  The range of skills, the range of media, all of these Lisa responds to individually.  Her feedback is invariably supportive, constructive, and focussed on what worked, and the next steps each artist might take.

Finally, I’m now thinking about where to next with my pods/promises and not rushing headlong into something completely different (of course I do have some other irons in the fire because that’s the way I am) . . . for me, that’s a great result.


This entry was posted in Creating, Education, Purpose and tagged , by late start studio. Bookmark the permalink.

About late start studio

I think the blog title says it all! Or so I thought when I began blogging. Since then I realise that I began my life as a maker very young. The 'late start' is in taking being a Maker seriously . . . giving it the capital letter it deserves. Over the years I have acquired a wide variety of skills , some through need and other through simple curiosity and now that I have resigned from the paid workforce, I am happily pursuing Making with creativity, originality and discipline.

8 thoughts on “review and reflection

  1. the birthing of variations on the theme… ceramic artist Jenny Orchard makes wonderful hybrid Zookiniis, or Interbeings, totemic forms and vessels since the early 1980’s. I love that when they come out of the kiln she draws & writes poetry to each one to get to know this new “being” in the world!
    here’s a link to her website

  2. Wendy,

    Thank you for the feedback on the workshop. I’m so glad you learned much. The clarity you gained on your series was very cool to watch unfold.

    The question of 2D vs 3D is an interesting one. As you noted – the workshop is absolutely relevant to 3D artists. I don’t teach people how to make art and it’s not a design workshop. I would certainly welcome any 3D artist looking to explore diving into their artwork more deeply to join a future workshop.

    I am going to be rewriting the entire workshop for 2017 and I will be rewording some of the assignments so it is clearer to 3D artists how the exercises apply to them. You made some good points about this during class.

    I have a large number of textile artists taking the class and I have only 1 example of a textile artist working in a series. So it isn’t necessary to have examples in your medium for this class to resonate (as you noted above). Why? Because it is a lot less about the art than it is about the mindsets. My training as a CPCC (certified professional coactive coach – aka life coach) is equally relevant to my understanding of the material as is my experience as a professional artist.

    Although that said, this is a fair point and I will include an example or two of 3D art when I rewrite the workshop.

    It was a treat to work with you and some day soon I will wander up the beach and we shall meet!


    • Having strong coaching skills as well as wide professional knowledge certainly combine well to make this course a success for all participants Lisa and I’m very glad to have been one of them. And good luck with the re-write to improve and update something that already has such significant value. . . what an enormous task you have set for yourself!

      And you’d be welcome up here any time . . . I don’t think my wee dachshund’s little legs will carry her south to your stretch of our wonderful beach yet.

    • Interesting question Mandy . . . I often think of metaphors, provide explanations for complex ideas as metaphors, and liken personal growth to natural phenomena. Are you asking about the concept or why I brought the materials together. Either way, I guess they reflect what is happening, or has happened, inside and around me.

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