Making the Most of your Art Workshop Experience

After a couple of terrific art workshops in the studio of Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Campus, we thought we’d share with you some top tips for getting the most out of your workshop experience.

The Basics

The workshops were held on June 15 and 27, and were both led by artists Helen Seiver and Marianne Folland-Myors. The first focused on printmaking, and the second one on mixed media.

Special Thanks

Before we charge ahead, special thanks to photographer Rob Cox of oxy images for visiting us at the second workshop and providing most of the images for this post. Jon Gellweiler from the South Western Times also dropped by with his colleague Aaron Corlett. One of Jon’s images is featured below.  To see the resulting newspaper article, visit here.

Hands of Eliza Daebler rolling beautiful colour on her lino before making her print

Hands of Eliza Daebler rolling beautiful colour on her lino before making her print

Watch the Demos…

Watching the workshop demonstrations with a keen eye is a great way to get started. Don’t hesitate to take notes and ask questions.

Here we see Helen Seiver demonstrating how to create a print using a simple but rewarding technique. She has paint on two slabs of very heavy glass. She lowers one slab onto the other. She wriggles them around just a touch to disburse the paint. In this sequence of images, Helen lifts the top slab off the bottom one.

She then carefully places a piece of paper on one of the slabs, and she gently rubs the paper with a baren (disk-like device with a flat bottom) to transfer paint to the paper.

…And the Unveilings

Make sure you don’t blink when it comes time to unveil the demo masterpiece. In this sequence, Helen slowly lifts the paper to reveal the print. That end result is often a great way to get inspired.

Practice the Techniques

Conducting your own experiments while you have the experts on hand is an ideal way to make quick progress. Here’s a print that was created by Suzanne Axon and Jacque McKeig using the technique that Helen demonstrated.

Print by Suzanne Axon and Jacque McKeig

Print by Suzanne Axon and Jacque McKeig

Come with a Friend

Suzanne and Jacque (whose work is featured above) have known each other for about nine years. They accompanied each other to both workshops and achieved some beautiful outcomes.

Here they are as photographed by Jon Gellweiler for the South Western Times.

Jacque McKeig with Suzanne Axon. Photo by Jon Geillweiler, South Western Times

Jacque McKeig with Suzanne Axon. Photo by Jon Geillweiler, South Western Times

This is the lively mixed media work they created in the second workshop.

Mixed media by Suzanne Axon and Jacque McKeig. Photo by Rob Cox

Mixed media by Suzanne Axon and Jacque McKeig. Photo by Rob Cox

Team Up

Joining up with someone in the workshop who shares a common interest is a great strategy. Engineer and artist Ric Stacey and artist Chris Harris share a mutual interest in things scientific. They both drew rockets. Ric looks like he might be calculating whether or not their rockets will make it to the moon.

"Will our rockets go the distance"? Ric Stacey with Chris Harris. Photo by Rob Cox

“Will our rockets go the distance”? Ric Stacey with Chris Harris. Photo by Rob Cox

Collaborate

Allegra Mazza Parton created this delightful mixed media dodo. Her creature was given extra dimension with a doily head and neck inspired by Bateen Thompson who was stitching doilies for her own work.

Find Some Inspiration from the Environment

Have a look around the workshop space to see if anything ignites your imagination. Ric was clearly inspired by a set of grass tree sculptures in the studio entrance.

Ric Stacey with grass trees and drawing. Photo by Rob Cox

Ric Stacey with grass trees and drawing. Photo by Rob Cox

Focus on Having Fun

Having fun and playing around are great ways to ensure you have a positive workshop experience. Janine Egan, Robyn Harris and Lisa Egan rose to the challenge,

and created some beautiful work.

What’s Next?

Although the workshops didn’t focus on creating 9 x 5 inch artworks (as they had in previous years), there were a few on show. Here’s Bateen with a 9 x 5 she’d created. Word on the street is that this artwork already has an advance bid. Woo-hoo!

Bateen Thompson with 9 x 5 artwork. Photo by Rob Cox

Bateen Thompson with 9 x 5 artwork. Photo by Rob Cox

These two workshops are part of the 9 x 5 project held annually in collaboration with Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Campus. The idea was that participants could experiment with techniques they could use in the creation of a 9 x 5.

For more on how you can get involved, check our handy faq.  Next up is an exhibition of 9 x 5s at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries from July 25 to August 14.

For more from Art Partners, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter right here.

27 thoughts on “Making the Most of your Art Workshop Experience

  1. Bateen Thompson

    Creative workshops are always good for the soul. The networking and friendly people are uplifting and happy, so rewarding.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Great to hear from you Bateen! Your enthusiastic and optimistic self is an addition to any workshop experience. Thanks for joining in. And, thanks in advance for your panel(s)!

      Reply
  2. waferal

    HI, Great work Art Partners. I appreciated the opportunity to participate on this day. It was enlightening and enjoyable. Haven’t had so much fun for ages. I am grateful to ECU for opening up their workshop and the skilled teaching and assistance from Helen and Marianne was awesome. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks again Rob for making time to come to the workshop on June 27. I think next time we’ll have to get you creating some art and we’ll get you in the pics!

      Reply
  3. Jacque

    Thank you Art Partners, Helen, Marianne and ECU. Suzanne and myself had a great time and gained a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Still working on the mixed media (adding bling) and will send picture once complete.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      It was terrific to you have you and Suzanne at both workshops. What a commitment you showed to the experience, and what beautiful outcomes. We look forward to seeing your blingy mixed media creation.

      Reply
  4. Apikara McQuillan

    Whoa!!! Fabulous art making ignited in a creative environment with inclusive and respectful spirit by all participants, from where I sitting and that is in Broome. Gratitude to All for the sharing for Arts Sake, from Art Partners, Community Art Partners, Coordination – Wanda, Facilitation – Helen & Marianne and creatives, xo

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      We missed you at the workshops Apikara! So glad that you can share in the experience by checking out this gorgeous post. We’ll be sharing more panels in the weeks leading up to the auction. The BRAG exhibition will be hung on Monday.

      Reply
  5. Leighton Jay

    Love your work Art Partners – both how you do what you’re doing and the products that result. Beautiful works everyone. I hope to see some of the 9x5s when I visit Bunbury next month.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Leighton for staying in touch. We look forward to seeing you while you’re in town, and sharing a selection of the 9 x 5s with you! Looking forward.

      Reply
  6. Vahri McKenzie

    Another beautiful document from Wanda and Art Partners. These really add an extra dimension to my ‘studio wanders’. Thanks for the wander Wanda!

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth & Louis Ariano

    Great work Art Partners. How fortunate to have such dedicated people in your midst. The demonstration by Helen is very impressive and the generous time given by Rob is certainly commendable. We wish you well in all your future endeavours.

    Reply

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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