Thursday, April 18, 2013

Patti Mollica Workshop

                                                                             Acrylic, 9x12"

Those of you who know me, know that there isn't much in this world that could tear me away when one of my dogs is in need.  Currently, my dog Jane Doe is 2 weeks into a 12-16 week recovery from a serious orthorpedic (knee) surgery.  She is completely dependent upon us for everything, has to stay in a cage with an e-collar (cone of shame) except under parental supervision for potty breaks, and even has to have a sling under her belly when she walks anywhere.  Yet, for the chance to paint with Patti Mollica, I LEFT MY DOG! (in good hands, of course).   I didn't know until I actually left if I would really go.  I just kept packing until I was ready, acting "as if" I were going.  I didn't know after I left if I had enough energy to drive all the way to Cary, NC.  I gave myself permission to turn around at any time.  I gave myself permission to leave the workshop and head home at any time if necessary.  Turns out, I went all the way and stayed the whole time and am so glad I did.

The above painting was one of several timed paintings we did.  Patti taught us to first do a value sketch and then to work from the sketch, using big brushes, lots of paint, and confident brushstrokes.  Patti encouraged us at the beginning of the workshop to take the opportunity to learn her techniques without pressuring ourselves to make beautiful, sell-worthy paintings.  You can see I follow directions quite well--no beautiful paintings from me at this workshop, thank you!  But, there was so much wisdom in her words, because I allowed myself to literally see what would happen if I used a huge brush and loads of paint and didn't fuss with my brushstrokes.  In other words, I allowed myself to learn, to see what would happen when the paint was allowed to dance freely, without worries about appearances.

 I am very pleased with my results.  This is an image of my niece that I have played with/painted quite a bit.  I see something in this workshop version that I have been wanting to see in my work--a certain energy, a certain playfulness that I plan to explore more.   Since this was a timed exercise, I didn't get to finish, as you can see for yourself in the lower right part of the painting.   However, I happen to like the unfinished part and plan to leave it like that.

What a thrill to attend a workshop focused on my own medium of acrylics!  There were plenty of artists doing wonderful work in oils at the workshop, but Patti's demos were in acrylics, and just knowing I was in the hands of a teacher that understands acrylics meant the world to me.  I am used to taking a class in pastels or oils and then translating what I learned to my acrylics upon returning to my studio.   I felt happy to be with a teacher and some other students who speak my language!

For the artists in the group, YES, a workshop with Patti Mollica would definitely be worth your while.  She is a very good teacher.  She is an inspiration, as she often encouraged and reminded us to be "interpreters, not transcribers."   Patti takes the time to explain things well, to consider questions, to do thoughtful/helpful demos, and to teach us experientially through stimulating exercises....and just LOOK at her art!  Wouldn't you love the opportunity to learn from her?  I would go again.  If you want to read what Patti wrote about the workshop, check it out here.

 Now, a post from me wouldn't be a post from me if I didn't complain about my photo--The photo of the painting was very crooked, resulting in my having to crop out parts that should be in there, but I had to crop or the photo I presented would not be rectangular.  What was affected by this crop was the negative spaces around the figure.  I will try to take a better photo and replace this one sometime in the future.

Jane Doe Update:  Thanks so much to my friends and fellow bloggers who have been asking about Jane Doe.  She had a two-week recheck with the surgeon yesterday, who said she is doing very well (phew!).  Her staples were removed, and we are giving a chance for some remaining irritation to heal at the incision...then--OFF with the E-collar!  She seems to be adjusting fairly well to being stuck in a cage.  Maybe she's just getting depressed, although you wouldn't think so if you had seen how utterly excited she was to be at the doctor's office yesterday!


carol edan said...

Glad that you were able to do the whole workshop. Your description sounds so exciting... and I love the spontaneity of the work... Did everyone work in acrylic or did some work in oils?
Glad Jane Doe is on the mend!!!!

Meredith Adler said...

Thanks,'s so nice to know that you care! I hope you check out Patti's work. I would say many people were working in oils. Since I worked in acrylics, I am not sure how the method worked with oils. There was lots of good work happening, so I assume the process would be similar.

Anonymous said...

Is that my kid? When? Where?

Glad Jane Doe is healing!!

Talk later,

Barbara Pask said...

So great to hear the report of your workshop. I am taking a workshop with Patti in June, so excited. I am doing a 2 day, was yours 3? I'll report back on mine.

Barbara Pask said...

Sorry, I meant to say glad your doggie is recovering well, they are like our children aren't they?

ME said...

First of all..that's really good news about Jane Doe. Secondly, I knew that was T immediately and I got that movement feeling right away too. Love it and that you got a lot out of the workshop. SO glad you went!

Meredith Adler said...

Stef: Yes, that is your kid. You have actually seen an earlier version (a few years ago) of this painting and liked it. It's from Brooke's musical birthday party--before the party when Tiana and Brooke were running around the gym. And thanks for caring about Jane Doe!

Barbara: I'll be keeping an eye on your blog, really looking forward to your report on your workshop with Patti. Yes, ours was a three-day. And yes, our animals truly are our children, thanks for caring.

Mom: I'm glad I went, too! I like that you recognized T right away and that you could sense the movement. And thanks for caring about Jane Doe.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was thinking it was the birthday party. :)


Cathy Engberg said...

Hi Meredith! I'm so glad you were able to go and that Jane Doe did okay without you. It sounds like it was worth all the effort! These are exercises I need to learn! I was reading her blog about this workshop and it sounded so interesting there too.

I really like this painting also even if it is just part of the learning exercise! It shows movement, form, and joy! Beautiful!

Meredith Adler said...

Thanks for your comments, Cathy. These are very stressful days for me, and all the support and encouragement means so much. Yes, Patti's write-up of her workshop is definitely worth reading. And the exercises worth doing. I think I am going to do the timed paintings for awhile.

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