11 years and many moons ago, Sandra Baker Hinton asked me to teach an art workshop on Amelia Island, Florida. I said to myself “I don’t know how to teach a workshop.” and nearly dismissed the entire idea immediately.
Then I paused, thought about it, mulled it…. Back then I had been volunteering with elementary aged children, teaching them about famous artists, and guiding them through hands-on art projects on a monthly basis. “Well, if I can teach kids who don’t even want to stay in their assigned seats, perhaps I could teach adults who were paying for their seats…”
And so it began, “Why, yes!”I answered to the question of “Would you teach for us?”We set a date, I packed my art supplies, stuffed my suitcase, and hit the road for Amelia Island, just over two hours from Orlando. Why not?
I have taught workshops here about five times since the original in 2008. I am always happy to return to my roots and spend some time on this little slice of island heaven nestled between Florida and Georgia.
Historic Fernandina Beach
The shops and restaurants along Center Street are each uniquely beautiful in both architecture and offerings. Walking down the sidewalk of this amazing historic district, stopping for a latté, a chunk of fudge, or to check out Pajama Daves’ crabby lounge pants, is just joyful–especially on a sunny spring day in April.
Exploring the Island
Since I was feeling nostalgic about where it all began, I came up to the island a bit early and stayed a bit late this year, allowing myself some extra time to explore. I enjoyed sipping Cuban coffee, perusing baked goods and produce at the farmers’ market, meeting a local potter and being invited into her home to view the art collection, exploring a mile of tangled driftwood at low tide, making my way to 29 South for Easter brunch on the porch, and joining friends for Easter dinner.
A Wonderful Workshop Weekend
The Island Art Center provided a beautiful space for us to spread out and learn how to hand paint papers and apply them as collage in my Birds and Blooms three day workshop.
Some students had a bit of previous art experience, some had taken several weekend workshops…. Rhonda was a total art virgin! We had all levels of skill arrive from all parts of Florida and Georgia.
Living Like a Local
It’s wonderful to have local friends who welcome me with open arms. Holly put me up at her beautiful island home, just a stone’s throw from the beach. I brought her homemade cookies and she fed me so much this weekend that we are both going on a mutual diet starting on Monday. I was honored to be able to to break bread at the beautiful new home of Sandy Gay and her husband Mike, who were very generous to invite Holly and I for Easter dinner.
The Best Art Friends
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
– C.S. Lewis
Throughout my travels to teach, I am constantly reminded of the fact that I gain just as much from my students as they gain from me, I’m sure of it.
Holly has taken my workshop seven times, including accompanying my tribe to Italy. Sandy, who treated us to dinner on Saturday after class, has taken my workshop twice and has collected at least 10 pieces of my artwork.
Big hugs to both of you girls! Thank you, thank you!
I am truly grateful for my job every single day. Happy Easter, happy spring, and a great big THANK YOU to my students, collectors, followers, and fans for all of your love and support over the years for this working artist!
for being part of
My Art Journey,
My Art Journey: Huffington Post
How I Make a Living in Art: Art Biz Podcast
Learn from Me: Workshops
My Art in Action: YouTube
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Buy My Book: Painted Paper Art Workshop
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