Art Workshops. To Go Or Not To Go?

Art Workshops – Are They Worth It?

Hi all! I’ve just come back from an Art Workshop and I want to talk a little bit about it. It was my 3rd visit to Donna Downey’s Studio in North Carolina. It was my first time at her new location. The new spot is incredible and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a great artistic experience paired with a stay at a beautiful bed and breakfast in an amazing wooded setting with all the amenities you could hope for AND gourmet catered food!

With that said I want to discuss the crap shoot it is when choosing a workshop to attend and how you need to keep an open mind AND an open heart. The teacher this weekend was more of an unintentional choice. I wanted so badly to get back to Donna’s studio because I love the experience and the fellowship not to mention the loving and positive environment that exists there. I chose a workshop that fit my schedule this year and it didn’t really matter to me who was teaching. I’m really glad I went in with no expectations because unfortunately I didn’t learn a whole lot of anything from the Artist that facilitated the workshop. She is a working, self taught artist and is obviously a hustler who works hard for her money. She also has a massive ego. During the two days she was with us we heard a lot of me, me, me and I, I, I. She also spent a half an hour of our precious studio time talking about her awful divorce and how she had to start all over and blah, blah, blah, over sharing and TMI if I ever saw it. She whipped off a painting during the first day that was promptly uploaded to her Instagram profile for sale! I paid almost $900 for the workshop and it ended up being studio time. But, that’s OK!

The beautiful thing was how much I LOVED the other Ladies on the course! Such a great group and so supportive and inclusive. We ate together, laughed together, painted together and it made the experience for me. Funny thing, we all kinda drifted away from the teacher and went to get tea or coffee or a snack around 2:30 PM on the second day when the teacher was supposed to be actively teaching us until 5PM. She quietly packed up her stuff and cut out early and no one really even noticed or cared. She had never been to teach at that particular studio and she won’t be back. She told us so. She is going to set up her own studio and only teach from her own location from now on. Good for her. I wish her success.

Are Art Workshops worth it? Absolutely! Even if it’s not the best workshop you’ve ever attended the people make the difference. I will go back to Donna’s Studio and I don’t really care who is teaching. I love the place and I love the experience. I learned so much from the other participants. A couple of the ladies were real Art teachers themselves with education and accreditation and everything! I absorbed a lot from them.

Every time I go to one of these painting workshops I feel like I grow in leaps and bounds. I get more confident in my abilities. I learn about new products and techniques. I make more friends with very similar interests and even backgrounds. Its so worth it. If you’ve ever thought of signing up for one just do it! You won’t regret it.

Be sure to check out https://www.donnadowney.com/collections/studio-events

24″x36″ Acrylic on Canvas “Time To Bloom” by Kim Cadenhead

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