The Best Workshop I Ever Took: Part 2

In this article, we continue our informative recap of survey respondents for the “Best Workshops” taken by portrait and figurative artists. Several artists wrote about their appreciation of and the value in a long workshop.

12-day Workshop Demo by Instructor Marvin Mattelson

Sangeeta Patel and Cindy Brewster claimed that a multi-week Marvin Mattelson workshop was just the intensity and focused instruction they needed. Sangeeta, who took a long-format Mattelson workshop at the School of Visual Arts in New York, appreciated his “time spent mixing paint and understanding how to shift value or intensity of various colors in a flesh-toned palette.”

Cindy signed up twice for Mattelson’s 12-day workshop, which included nights and weekends and was held at Susan Porges' Studio in Beachwood, Ohio. She appreciated how “extremely detailed Mattelson was…like nothing she’d ever encountered in a workshop!” Cindy also appreciated his generosity with his methods: “With Marvin, there are no secrets!” Cindy went away with a mantra, “Success is 1% talent, 24% hard work, 24% objectivity, and 51% perseverance.”

12-day Workshop demo by Instructor Robin Ely

Elizabeth Barden hadn’t touched oil paints for more than a decade when she took a 12-day workshop at The Art Academy in Adelaide, Australia with Robin Eley. Inspired by Eley’s mastery of form and chroma, she says he was a “calm and generous tutor, careful to give personal attention to each student.”

Of all the figurative artists surveyed, only two responded that their favorite was a non-figurative workshop. Victoria Cole’s Best Workshop was Kate Stone’s six-day Still Life Workshop at the Rochester Art Club. Kate’s step-by-step approach helped Victoria’s figurative work immensely. Kate stressed, “creating a narrative with inanimate objects [makes] it easier to create narratives with figurative work.” She also gave Victoria a mantra to carry forward: “Paint smarter, not harder.”

Victoria (Tori) Cole’s painting from Kate Stone’s workshop