Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Friday, June 20, 2014

How To Get the Most Out Of Your Art Workshop Experience- Part IV

Quiet Moment
8 x 10 Oil Painting
 by Pat Fiorello

Hopefully you have followed some of the suggestions in my earlier posts on what you can do to make the most of your experience before and during the workshop and you have had an inspiring and enriching workshop experience.

But the biggest part of your learning can actually come after the workshop.
So don't put your notes and new supplies on the shelf and go back to exactly what you were doing before. But be open to considering how you might integrate what you learned into your work moving forward.

A rich workshop with a skilled instructor can serve as inspiration, experimentation and growth long after the workshop ends.

After you return home:
Print out your notes( I typed them on my ipad, but handwritten is fine)  and review them. I often highlight my biggest takeaways from the workshop. I also move any photo's from my camera to my computer and make a folder with the instructors name on it so I can easily go back and find images from that workshop if I am wondering about something at a later date.  This is especially helpful when you've taken a series of step by step photo's during a demo.

 Consider one or 2 things that you might incorporate into your painting process and try them out for awhile. Don’t try to throw out your entire process and totally follow someone else’s. I try to integrate things that I think might make a difference. Sometimes they stick and become new habits and other times they don’t. But you won’t know till you experiment. If you can have some time after the workshop set aside for experimentation, that’s a great way to reinforce what you learned.

I try to experiment with just one or 2 new habits or work practices to focus on practicing with those and evaluating if they work for me. Integrating more than that at once may make it less likely to stick.  It's like committing to a new health care regimen and then saying I'm going to exercise 7 days a week, go for a 2 mile walk every day, use a personal trainer 4 times a week, eliminate all gluten, meat and sugar from my diet starting tomorrow.  They might be good actions to take, but how likely are you going to be able to stick to this much change at once. Little steps, followed consistently ( they say 21 days- I wonder if that translates to 21 paintings?) help you to change habits over time.

If there were new materials you tried and liked, you may want to order some more to practice and see how you like them over time. I recently went to a workshop where I was introduced to a new type of canvas panel which the instructor provided during the class.  I seemed to like working on it in class, so ordered some more to get a better idea of how they compare to my current canvases over time- don't know if I was really in a position to make a call after just 2 or 3 exposures to this new material with all the other variables of a workshop environment at play. At home, in the comfort of my own studio, with no time constraints or other distractions, I can more realistically assess the new panels. 

You may want to follow up and connect with some of the people who you may have especially bonded with during the workshop.  Send and email or connect on social media to have a way to keep the conversation going after the workshop. It's often helpful if you have questions about something that you forgot or doesn't seem clear to have someone else who was there to ask and vice verse.  Several of my artist friends are people I met in workshops 10 or 15 years ago. We've helped each other over time and stay in touch. So the relationship does not have to end just because the workshop is over.

 I hope the tips I've shared over the past 4 blog posts on how to get the most value from your workshop experience have been useful for you. If I can be of any help to you on your artistic journey, please get in touch with me. My website is or you can message me on Facebook on my page, Pat Fiorello, Artist.

Happy Painting!

P.S. If you'd like to receive a copy of my monthly newsletter "Bringing Beauty to the World" where I share new art, upcoming workshops and inspiration on art & beauty, you can simply sign up where indicated on the right hand side of my blog or the bottom of my website home page. Thanks for your interest.

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