The last leg of my recent 37 days on the road was spent with 19 other working artists like myself in New Orleans. Golden Artist Colors accepted 20 applicants to their Artist Educators program this October, and I was one of them! I am proud to say that we were selected from an overall pool of 83 applicants. I had to provide my workshop teaching schedule, samples of my artwork, my Curriculum Vitae, and an essay as to why I’d make a good candidate. It took a while before I heard back from my application and so at one point I was doubtful that I’d even be selected…
And then one day Kevin Greeland’s acceptance letter arrived in my in-box! OMG I made it!
I’m already a HUGE fan of GOLDEN Artist Colors, so to be accepted into this program was like a trip to Art Heaven. Kevin’s email explained that GOLDEN would provide everything we needed for this unique training program, including paintbrushes and aprons… all we had to do was to bring ourselves, and our sense of adventure, to New Orleans… GOLDEN even covered our extra fancy hotel rooms in the stunning Hotel Mazarin, one half a block from Bourbon Street.
The GOLDEN team included Kevin Greeland at the helm with assistance from Working Artists Samatha, Valerie, and (another) Kevin. This team of GOLDEN Working Artists cleaned our brush water, organized our projects, dispensed the supplies, provided encouragement, generated smiles and returned positive feedback. They helped with any questions we had and helped us to understand more about the products we were using.
We all kept saying how spoiled we were and how we couldn’t believe that we should be so lucky!
Getting to Know You
Our rooms at the Hotel Mazarin were amazing and the location was incredible, right in the heart of the French Quarter, we were walking distance from restaurants, shops, the Mississippi River, and anywhere we could want to go! Each evening GOLDEN had a new restaurant planned for us with a private dining room space. During dinners we got to know one another better as we walked to restaurants and socialized together. GOLDEN had us change classroom table mates every morning so that we could sit next to someone new each day; what a wonderful group of artists!
Out and About
By midweek on Wednesday, we had a day to ourselves for sigh seeing, shopping, whatever we wanted to do. I ventured out for a day on my own where I visited the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and had lunch at Pêche Seafood Grill in the Arts District. I popped into some very interesting art gallery spaces on my way to the museum. It was a nice day exploring and the perfect break in the middle of our busy training schedule.
When we returned to the hotel on Wednesday evening, we were surprised with yet more of the GOLDEN Royal Treatment, Kevin informed us that they had arranged a private concert for us! Bon Bon Vivant played just for us in a private space at the hotel after our catered dinner. What an amazing sound from an incredibly entertaining band, and what a TREAT! After the concert the band members spoke with us and we ejoyed getting to know them a bit. KaePea bought me a black Bon Bon Vivant band T-shirt!
What Did You Learn?
I learned that I’d love to have a studio assistant to clean my paint water and organize my projects like the GOLDEN team did for us in class…. but that’s not going to happen any time soon.
What we REALLY learned through this training were the effects of painting on top of, blending into, and layering with all kinds of acrylic products and grounds. We also blended mineral and modern colors with Interference, Iridescent, and Metallic paints, along with Mica Flake, Coarse Alumina, and Heavy Gel products. I experimented with combinations that I’d would not have previously considered, and achieved results that were new and amazing. We also learned about the effects of varnish, mono printing, collagraph plates, stencils, working with fabric, image transfer….. and much more!
As we were learning about GOLDEN products (Acrylic, Oil, and Watercolor), we were creating demonstration boards (which were lovingly pre-printed and mounted to foam board by the folks at GOLDEN prior to the class). The goal for the boards is to help us remember the results we achieved and to demonstrate the results to our workshop students. Just look at how painting pears on Light Molding Paste, Coarse Molding Paste, Crackle Paste, and Fiber Paste varies from painting them on Coarse Alumina, Gold Mica Flake, and Glass Bead Gel! And don’t even get me started on MIXING paint into these mediums and painting WITH that vs. painting on top of it….
The GOLDEN possibilities are endless! Visit their website and you’ll see what I mean.
All Good Things…
The week came to an end way too soon! Our last night out on the town as a group included a Natchez riverboat cruise on the Mighty Mississippi complete with live jazz and an incredible view. The climate of New Orleans is much like that of Florida, meaning even though we were on the river after sunset, we didn’t even need a sweater. What a lovely way to spend an evening and round out the week with our new GOLDEN friends.
The Last Day
On the very last day, we wrapped up class and packed our boxes of GOLDEN products to ship home. GOLDEN showered us will all the paints we used in the classroom and more. Each of us were given boxes to fill with goodies. We were like kids in a candy store, going around the room and choosing products to put in our boxes. Kevin and his crew gave us year another apron, baseball caps, T-shirts, and tote bags. I told him I was going to cry.
Kevin smiled at me and said, “Don’t cry! Just take a T-shirt.”
Let’s Get Ink!
A few of us stayed an extra night in order to enjoy one last day in New Orleans. I hung around with KaePea much of the week and on the last day she and I gathered for a drink at Ryan’s Irish Pub with some of the other stragglers from our GOLDEN Group. (L to R: Ken, David, Ashley, KaePea, Yours Truly)
KaePea said she wanted to go to Electric Lady Land to get some ink in order to commemorate her experience in the Crescent City with a crescent moon tattoo of her own design, and she asked me if I wanted to join her…
But of course!
That evening our little group walked past Jackson Square, and down to Frenchmen Street where we enjoyed a Mediterranean meal together. We poked our heads into some bars with awesome live music, and we wandered through several outdoor art markets (marveling at jewelry and hand-made items). KaePea and I broke off from the others when we found Electric Lady Land and I agreed to go in and sit with her while she had her crescent moon body art done.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
What an amazing week we had learning about GOLDEN, making art, meeting people, and experiencing New Orleans together. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again… one of the best parts of my job is the people I meet and the relationships I forge. KaePea is the owner and creator of RubberMoon art stamps. Somewhere along in the week she asked me if I’d be interested in creating some stamps for her…. and Patti from The Queen’s Ink asked me to teach a workshop at her shop next May in Savage, MD. Stay tuned for more info on both of those collaborations by joining my mailing list.
You just never know where your journey will take you when your heart and your mind are open!
for being a part of my