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.


16 thoughts on “Teaching Joys

  1. Starting a writers group has been circulating in my head for a long time. Because of your art journaling workshop at the Anthem library, I was able to connect with others who share this interest. Sally, Irma and I brainstormed for a couple hours last week. Tuesday, February 5, 2013 we launch. On my first day handout, your blog will be among the references listed. Hopefully, we will be able to have as much fun as Art Journaling 101 provided. I love your style, Quinn, encouraging but no pressure. What a blessing you are to many!

  2. Thank you again, Quinn, for a fun and inspirational evening in the Anthem library. I think you could tell by the total participation, your Art Journaling 101 workshop was appreciated. Sally, Irma and I met Tuesday of this week and planned for the start of our writers group. I believe we will have at least five at the first meeting February 5, 2013. Irma already has an art journal started to share. Sally and I will share pieces we’ve written, and I have a wonderful resource book, Finding What You Didn’t Lose by John Fox. It is actually for poetry making but offers suggestions that can be adapted to any form of writing.

    Thank you for sharing your life experiences.

    • I’m so thrilled that you not only loved the course, but are going to get together and write. That is just the best idea. Please keep in touch (my email is at the to of the page under “contact”) –I’d love to come visit the group some night!

  3. Quinn,
    Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for a most wonderful Monsoon Papers workshop last Saturday. I love taking your classes and have learned that you can pull things out of us, that we didn’t even know we had. What a gift!

  4. I love teaching art too…if art insists on oozing out of your pores, you need a place to let it ooze! I have worked with adults with disabilities for about 4 years now, and I do 3 art classes a week with them. My Wednesday class is with a group of 10 adults, and it’s: ta-da! Art Journaling. I love teaching this class, and constantly need to find ways to teach journaling techniques to some with autism, some with cerebral palsy, and a variety of other disabilities. So far they leave the class feeling like they’ve done something creative, artsy, and fun. Negative behaviors seem to melt away in the class. We are creating journal pages that I will make into a book for each of them when they’re done! And Quinn, your Raw Art journaling workshop has definitely had an impact on what I teach…thanks!

    • Oh, LaTrecia, when I hear that my book is helping people with disabilities, my heart just leaps up! I am so grateful for people who help those with disabilities, whose differences cause them to be ignored. And I love that they feel like they’ve done something creative, because they have–they have lived a bigger life in those hours, and they have made meaning out of those lives. That’s more than a lot of “normal” people will ever accomplish.

  5. Looks like the Monsoon Paper class was a wonder of color and fun. What a joy for all involved. And you even had winter ‘monsoon’ rains to add excitement from Mother Nature, or as I just learned, these rains are called, Sonoran Soakers.

    Sonoran Soaker Papers? Ha!

  6. Quinn I wish you were close enough to take classes from and hope those lucky people who are appreciate you! I am eagerly awaiting the new book and enjoying the “old” one. Whenever I start to believe my inner critic and get discouraged I pull out Raw Journaling and play. (Can’t wait to read your new book and then really tell him off.) Weird how he sounds just like my snarky high school art teacher. ..

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