Teaching Joys

Teaching is a joy for the instructor, and, if all goes reasonably well,  teaching brings joy to participants. This week, there were two art teaching gigs–one in Anthem (AZ) at the regional library and one in Tucson, with an incredible collective of people called Paper Works.

A thank-you note left on the board in Anthem made my day!

A thank-you note left on the board in Anthem made my day!

You never know who is going to show up at a library workshop. This one was sponsored by Friends of the Library, and that always means an enthusiastic group.

The Friends of the Library also hold book sales, which are great sources for books to read, alter, or use in Found Poetry.

Ranging in age from 11 to 70s, the participants were eager to try out Art Journaling 101. The class is fun, but fun is in the experience, and not everyone wants to have fun in public. I generally don’t teach 11-year-olds, but this set of twins was in turn serious, funny, open, and willing to share.

The adults shared their work, which means they were open and vulnerable and those two emotions made everyone comfortable and ready to jump in. And jump they did, with inventive writing, clever design ideas, and my favorite–those who listen to the directions and then take it in a new direction.

I brought inks to experiment with, and experiment we did!

I brought inks to experiment with, and experiment we did!

The next day, I drove down to Tucson to teach Monsoon Papers at PaperWorks. The group dived into the experience with both hands–which got heavily inked. Since I published the first tutorial there have been a lot of updates, and this class was Monsoon Papers 3.0, which will also be in the new book.

The papers were a light cream to start, but soon morphed into a look of batik fabric. It rained heavily, but no one needed to run out and create their papers outside, since I’ve developed inside methods for inking the papers.

When the sun did come out (making some startling cloud shadows on the Catalinas), some participants took advantage and hung the work outside, letting the last of the raindrops create patterns.

Inked papers drying. Don't they look like fabric?

These drying papers looks so much like batik fabric. The color choices all worked out.

Tucson2Monsoon Papers defying the weather on an improvised clothes line. My laundry should be this colorful! The fact that they are in color order is due to the sensibility of the class members, I didn’t change a thing.

Tucson3When a participant does two very different color choices, it always means curiosity, creativity and imagination are at work.

tucsonpoetryWe also did two additional exercises (well, three, since Linda Penny brought gel plates and did a demo on how they work–love those unplanned extras!) of found poetry and paper mosaic–both from the new book. Note the cool abstract-ink on paper in the foreground. That’s in the new book, too.

I’m ready to travel and teach any of the new courses. My contact information is in the “Work With Quinn/Contact” page at the top of the page. Check the Workshop list for classes scheduled in the Phoenix area and for the week-long retreat for working with your Inner Heroes and Inner Critic at the Madeline Island School. Read about my workshop, Metaphor and Magic, Mixed Media Conversations with Your Inner Hero, here.

Quinn McDonald is almost ready for the photo session for her new book. Lucky she’s ready, she’s leaving at the end of the week.