On Saturday afternoon two weeks ago, I got a text from my friend Patty letting me know she'd found out that Joanne Sharpe was going to be teaching at a store in Massachusetts (Absolutely Everything.) There were two spots left in one of the classes and she wanted to know if I was interested in making a day of it. Of course! I've followed Joanne online for a few years now (I'm signed up for one of her online classes, but typical me, I haven't made it past the 2nd lesson yet) so I was excited to get to take a class with her.
So, last Saturday, Patty and I met up and drove up to the store. It was a bit short of a 3 hour drive - it's a little south of the New Hampshire border.
Neither of us had ever been there before, but wow. What a store! The owner showed us around and let us know what everyone was buying from the previous classes so we would know what to look for and of course, so we could see if we wanted anything before-hand. I could seriously get lost in that place... they had so much! It was like a piece of nirvana for my artsy, mixed-media loving heart. Next time I'm there, I'll have to take pictures. Sigh.
But on to the class...
Patty and I weren't sure what to expect... I'd found a class description and supply list online, so we came with bags of markers and pens and watercolors. We got the Strathmore Visual Journal watercolor notebook with the class. As it turns out, we barely touched our pens and markers! (That freaked me out a lot at first. lol.)
Joanne started out with some general doodling concepts and rules of thumb... you can tell she's a teacher by trade. She did a lot of demonstration. I was super impressed by the fact that she had a handout numbered with the 12 concepts for the class, and then samples for each of them that were also numbered so we could take pictures and then match them up to the handout when we got home. On top of that, she demonstrated each of them for us.
We were doodling with watercolors and acrylic paints and Viva Silks... the pens and markers were more for accents! This class was WAY outside of my comfort zone, but in a good way. I started almost all of the assignments in the class, took notes, took LOTS of photos, and decided to withhold judgment on what looked like a bunch of blobby crap until I'd finished them all at home.
Joanne was super nice, and flattered that we'd driven all that way just for a single class. We just wished we'd known about it sooner so we could have made a weekend of it! (We're on the newsletter list now!) Granted, we were there for less time than we were driving... lol, but between the class and the store itself, it was more than worth it.
We got back late, but even though it was well after midnight, I unpacked all my stuff and set it up to be ready to play after church on Sunday. Then Sunday, I proceeded to work through the assignments.
It blew.my.mind. Those blobby pieces of crap turned out really nicely! I was totally shocked to realize that I could do something that looked even similar to her samples. Here are two of the pages from my book showing some of the 12 techniques:
I can't claim credit for the designs - I was working based off of her samples to see if I could do the techniques. But now that I've done these, I can definitely apply them to my own drawings! The left is using Twinkling H2Os as an accent to watercolored doodling, and the right is pen, marker, and watercolor.
And here's a doodle I did that was inspired by one of hers - I wanted to try something Zentangle but in a looser style than usual. I love this one!
The class was only a week ago, but I've been in a creative frenzy ever since. This class, combined with what I learned in Donna Downey's workshops, and other videos, browsing, classes, etc... have all started to gel in my mind and I've got so much adrenaline pumping lately!
Next post... some of the fun stuff I've been doing in my art journal as I play with all these techniques.