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!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Learning at an Art Workshop

Well I had a wonderful week at the Scottsdale Artists' School in an oil painting workshop with instructor  Hedi Moran  a couple of weeks back.
 Here we are together. Hedi is on the right.

 She is a wonderful instructor who is not only generous in sharing her techniques and her own lessons learned over the years of painting, but also is fun, genuine and encouraging.

I learned a lot during the week, but some of the lessons are beyond techniques.

I took my first workshop over 15 years ago. On a whim after only about 3 months of painting I decided to got take a workshop in Provence. I had no idea what I was doing- it seemed like a good idea. When I got there I had a moment of "what was I thinking?" when I realized everyone else there was a professional artists, or art teacher and I had been painting for 3 months.  But it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.

 There is nothing like being immersed in art and being surrounded by new inspiration to paint and other people who are passionate about the same things you are. It's a totally enriching opportunity and after that first workshop, I vowed to take at least one workshop a year (  a vow which I have kept and has been one of the best decisions I've ever made).  Now I teach workshops to provide those enriching experiences to others. Next month, I'll be taking a group to paint at a wonderful place in Tuscany  ( for more info see under Workshops or contact me and I can answer any questions.). There is still room available for anyone who woudl like to come and it's open to artists of all levels( even total beginners) and mediums. We meet in Florence on May 28th.

By being immersed in art , away from the distractions of everyday life, you can learn at an accelerated rate and really see your progress from the beginning till the end of the workshop. You also meet great people from all over who share your interest in art and develop friendships that last well beyond the workshop.

This past workshop I got to see a lot of art on the local galleries in Scottsdale which is also educational and inspiring. I also got some practical lessons. This was the first time I flew with my oil paints and had to figure out how to transport the wet panels after the workshop. I typically love to paint on Panelli Telati canvas on panels ( available at ASW art supplies), but instead, ordered some oil primed linen on gator board since I thought the panels would weigh less in my suitcase( I'm alway precariously close to the 50 lb limit). Well big lesson learned. Avoid using new materials( except those specified by the instructor) when on a workshop. It's challenging enough to learn and new approach , but to also adapt to the nuances of new materials adds another layer of complexity. The panels I brought were much slicker than the ones I am used to and it was difficult to handle with the new approach. I wished I had has the materials I was already familiar with, but I was out of luck so had to make the best of it. Good lesson learned for next trip.

If you have an opportunity to do so, I'd strongly recommend treating yourself to a workshop- Investing in yourself and your skills is the best thing you can invest in for a sure return.
 Plus it's a lot of fun!

1 comment:

  1. Pat I enjoyed your review of your time in Scottsdale. Also, thanks for the great tips on being careful about workshop materials. I certainly agree that artist should treat themselves to workshops! There is so much to learn from so many talented artist who are willing to share their skills and I have met the most lovely and fun people through my workshops. And you are one of those wonderful people!! :)
    Hoping for you and your group safe travels to Tuscany. Will save my pennies and hope to go along sometime in the future. It certainly sounds divine!!