Getting the most out of Workshops

10 things to think about when taking a workshop.


First watercolor from Jeannie McGuire Workshop

  1. Deciding which workshops to take is the first thing. Who is the presenting artist? Is there something that they are going to teach that will help improve your art? Do you like their art?

2.  Be prepared. Read all the information on supplies needed and do your research, check out the artist’s website. Come to the workshop with the supplies you need to participate.


Beatrix Potter by Sherry Meidell from Jeannie McGuire workshop

3.  Bring a sketch book and take notes. There might be information that you won’t recall if you don’t take notes. Review your notes after the conference

4.  Don’t let fear stop you from painting in front of the other artists. Just go for it. It’s the only way to learn. You start where you are and journey forward.


Unfinished watercolor by Sherry Meidell from the Jeannie McGuire Workshop

5.  If you have the opportunity to have your art critiqued by the presenter, take the chance. The presenter will see things that you don’t. Listen non defensively to the critique. Try to understand what is being said about your art and how to improve your art.

6.  Learn from the other attending artists. Take the time to talk to them and check out their art.

7.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions but make sure you don’t monopolize the presenters time. You’re not the only one in the workshop.


Watercolor by Sherry Meidell at the Jeannie McGuire Workshop titled “That’ll do pig”

8.  Sometimes it’s better to just dive in and paint don’t spend so much time thinking about what you are going to do that you never start.

9. Also take time to think about what you are going to paint. Just don’t dive in. (Wasn’t that the opposite of step 8?)

10.  Take what you’ve learned from the workshop and figure out how you’re going to incorporate it into your own art. You don’t want to copy someone else’s style but make what you’ve learned, a part of your own. 


Unfinished watercolor of Beatrix Potter and sheep.

I just finished a great workshop from Jennie McGuire who is a figurative watercolor painter. I learned a lot about design and spontaneous painting. We got to talk a bit of shop and about  children’s book illustrating. It was a great workshop. She will be teaching at August 19-24 if you want to check that out. The workshop was sponsored by the Utah Watercolor Society.



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Leaving Tulips and Home

The power to resist strain or stress. Durability. Moral or intellectual power. Capacity for action.

At nine years old Inger Catherine came to America with her mother and six sisters and a baby brother. Seven weeks at sea. Three older sisters buried along the way. The baby brother also lost. Traveled in the Murdock Handcart Company. Weaved carpets, linens, and cloth. Gleaned wheat fields for flour and chicken feed. Sheared sheep an average of 50 sheep per day.

Robert Henri in his book The Art Spirit said, “All art that is worth while is a record of intense life, and each individual artist’s work is a record of his special effort, search and findings, in language especially chosen by himself and devised to best express him….”

An artists strength is sometimes determined by the ability to grow and learn and continue to create. Just doing the work. Here are two paintings of pioneer women that I’ve been working on lately. Hopefully capturing their strength.

The power to resist strain or stress. Durability. Moral or intellectual power. Capacity for action.


Inger Catherine and Sunflowers

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Happy April Fools Day


April Fools Day and Thanks for joining me this month #womanshistorymonth

One of my favorite quotes from the artist and teacher of Minerva Teichert, Robert Henri, is “Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those that go on anyway.”
This month I have read and studied the lives of some great women in history. They all “went on anyway.” Whenever you have a goal and you are heading in a good direction, you will hit obstacles, setbacks, bug-a-boos, cliff edges, boulders in your path. But keep on anyway.
Bessie Coleman couldn’t find anyone to give her flight lessons, but she went on anyway and found her way to France and took the lessons she wanted. Many things frightened Sophie Blanchard but she went up in hot air balloons so high she got icicles on her fingers and face. Anne Sullivan overcame eye disease and loss of family and blessed Helen Keller’s life.
So let’s go on anyway, working towards our goals and helping those around us.
And to end, here is a quote I have hanging above my art table by Louisa May Alcott: “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and follow where they lead.”

Thanks for joining me for the ride this month. I’ve enjoyed your comments and participation. If you have any names for next years Woman’s History Month, leave them in the comments below and have a great Easter Sunday.


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Woman’s History Month Day 31


Woman’s History Month Day 31 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 30


Woman’s History Month Day 30 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 29


Woman’s History Month Day 29 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 28


Woman’s History Month Day 28 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 27


Woman’s History Day 27 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 26


Woman’s History Month Day 26 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 25


Woman’s History 25 #womanshistorymonth

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