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  • Writer's pictureLauren Daae

First Workshop In The Books

I am so excited to have held my first coffee-painting workshop! We were cozy on a cool day (not bad at all for November though!) inside the lovely gallery space at Art Concepts. (Thank you again Byron and Theresa for all of your work in preparing and pulling this off!!) I felt like a proud mother-hen watching my 14 attendees dive in and complete their first works in a new medium. I was also thrilled to hear a few of them immediately began planning their next caffeinated piece - so I'm totally pleased to have been the one to introduce them to it!

One thing that stood out to me was the anticipation bubbling up as each person arrived. One by one they trickled in and I had to push past my nerves and greet them. I had never met the majority of the ladies who signed up, which made me feel even more humbled and also determined to deliver a good class. Having a few of my friends and sisters that I did already know also really helped me settle in, while I felt their love and support.

Initially I had planned to have the students gather around me and watch each step of painting, but it was hard to break the comfort of having them seated - so I held up an already finished piece and also the steps that I had printed out in preparation. Looking back, I think I would have pushed them initially to come around and watch my study - I think they may have benefited from seeing the consistency of the coffee mixed, but also the looseness with which I approached the beginning phases.

Watching my guests tackle their own problem-solving known as art, I realized even more how much I've pushed myself to have a loose painterly style (which is different from what a lot of people are used to). I could see so much of myself in their apprehension (which I still battle sometimes!). It's difficult to explain the exact technique, the water-to-coffee ratio, so I purposed to be less controlling and let the time be relaxing, by not cramming too much information in. I love to talk about my process and especially my mental-approach to composition, so I'm hopeful there was a good balance of my sharing and their opportunity to visit each other and freely experiment.

In the end, every person was so so gracious and kind - I was showered with appreciation and compliments on the class... it was almost overwhelming! I know I'm only going to improve with each workshop that goes by, but oh so rewarding to see my students leave with pieces they were proud of - because most were completely terrified at the thought of an animal subject!!

Now would you like to give this painting a try? As my students (I just love saying "my students", I can't stop!) - ahem -as my students discovered, I've broken the process down into very manageable steps, and the material list is not a difficult one. This course, along with a voiced-over timelapse video of my study will be available on my Patreon account. So please check it out if you're curious - keeping in mind it is very beginner friendly. A majority of my attendees here were not artists and had not painted before! If you do dive in, PLEASE do me the honour of seeing your work, I'd love to hear how you make out with this method!

I'm already planning my next classes - I can't wait to meet more people and experience this community spirit all over again!

Artfully yours,


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