Wednesday, August 3

Why I Don't Attend Art Workshops

Today I’m blogging about art workshops. OK, I’m actually blogging about why I don’t attend art workshops.

Being an introvert, as I am led to believe many of us artists are, I would rather not spend time socializing with artists (and/or a lot of other people either).

I know there is a lot to be said about the value of artistic workshops. I’m sure I could learn something I don’t know or improve my painting technique or perhaps feel good that I was doing something to improve my painting technique.

However, the very few workshops I have attended seem to go like this: introductions; ice-breaking of the apprehension of other introverted artists in the room; take a much-needed break; a demonstration of how the artist paints, etc., or worse, a video of a demonstration followed by a sales pitch for the video; Q & A; a thankful lunch break ; blah-blah-blah after lunch; time for actually doing whatever the workshop is trying to “teach;” more blah-blah-blah; finally, conclusion and well-wishing all around about how great the workshop was.

All of that, and you had to pay for the privilege of attending in addition to actually enduring it.

Sorry for stepping on some toes out there, but really, the artists who conduct workshops are doing it for two reasons: to get paid for the day and to reap some accrued benefit or exposure that could lead to future awards or future sales of their work (they hope).Nothing wrong with any of this—free will and free enterprise and all of that.

You may have noticed a slight cynicism in my description, and you would be correct. A cynical artist knows what type of art to pursue without attending workshops.

I much prefer my method, which is viewing artwork and paintings in person at museums and galleries and by viewing paintings in books of great art collections. Viewing art in person or in a book allows you to look and see what interests you and take time to evaluate it and internalize it with the goal of using what you see in your work and in your own good time. I would even rather buy a good how-to book (now and then) —money better spent, in my humble opinion-- than spend time in a workshop.

Happy Painting!


  1. perfectly said and so true! Its almost like I wrote this!

  2. Thanks for speaking for the silent majority. Forced (by means of inducement) social intercourse is not networking, it is netsuffering. Introverts always get more done by actually doing it.