March 10, 2020

I continue to be amazed at what happens with the time!!  All of a sudden, it's March, and it's been a month since I last updated this blog.  Golly, I am a wee bit embarrassed!
Two major things are happening:  The Big Draw Festival DE, and a sketching workshop I took over the weekend.  (We'll just save the other things for later!!)
 Last October the Mispillion Art League conducted a Big Draw Festival for the first time.  Although the Festival itself originated in England 20 years ago, we decided in a "Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland Let's have a show" moment, to conduct one ourselves.  And since it was a BIG Draw, we decided to do it for the entire month, rather than just a single event.  And, since we had never conducted an event like this before, we had to start from scratch and invent the wheel!  We carried out 25 free Saturday events for children and families, and an additional 25 or so classes and workshops at reduced fees.  In total, we had over 1800 participants (those we could count, since most of our events were outside and traffic was very free-flowing.)  we painted in the street with our feet, built a HUGE sandcastle out of 8 tons of sand, had arts activities at 4 other arts organizations in town (music, dance, theater, museum), painted with coffee, and painted a mandala on our entryway into the Art League.
The theme has changed this year, to one of The Big Green Draw - A Climate of Change.  And, we're doing it again!!  We've changed our focus to include art with recycled materials and encompassing a larger geographic range in the city. And we've started planning, with weekly meetings and on-going assignments.  And, I'm the co-chair.
Second, the workshop.  I just finished a two-day sketching workshop with Pat Southern-Pearce, a Bolton, England (it's near Manchester) artist who has the most amazing sketchbooks and art!  (look for her work on her Facebook page.)
I started painting 20 years ago, after a lifetime of being admonished "don't think about art, because you'll never be able to make a living at it."  So, I came late into the entire field.  My first instructor was a classic watercolorist (don't use black and save the whites of the paper for the whites in the painting).  And she used ONLY watercolor, no other media.  I moved to acrylics and collage, where there was more freedom of media, but it still seemed to me that anything using watercolors should still be purely watercolor.  Well, Pat changed that!  We sketched on beige, grey, and black (yes, black!) papers, used markers, pencils, acrylics, inks, chalks, watercolor pencils, and glue sticks to create deeply personal stories of our days.  What a concept!  Finally, permission to use anything I wanted, without reservation!  I'm still recovering.  and I just may never recover!  (At least, I hope!)

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