Observing and Illustrating on the Oregon Coast
“Observe the outline at the speed of an ant,” Sitka instructor Nora Sherwood invites, leading a time-based blind drawing warm-up. An enveloping calm permeates the studio as participants in her Observing and Illustrating on the Oregon Coast workshop focus their eyes and crawl their pencils into each crevice and cranny of the seashells and butterflies they are studying.
“Sketch without judgement,” Lauren Ohlgren encourages before her group sets out for a plein air session with the aim of “loosening up how we look at the world around us.” A note on the whiteboard in her Abstract Sketching and the Creative Process workshop reads: “Take a line for a walk.”
“I love how intuitive it is,” Dayna Collins shares, reflecting on the experimentation that takes place in her Playful Abstracted Landscapes in Oil and Cold Wax workshop and within her own studio practice. “Does it cause a gasp of delight? Does it startle me? Does it catch me off guard? If it doesn’t, it goes in the rework pile.” One participant confides that their personal goal for Dayna’s workshop is “working looser and freer.”
“Collage is a wonderful way to explore options without any commitment whatsoever,” offers Ruth Armitage in her Texture Tactics workshop as just one of many strategies to set aside anxieties and silence our inner critics.
At the onset of Carolyn Hazel Drake’s Weaving Meaning: Minimal Tapestries and Personal Incantations workshop, each participant chooses an incantation, reflecting on the questions, “what do you want to do?” and “who do you want to be?”
“Setting intentions and affirmations is essential to any mindfulness practice,” Drake observes. “With weaving, you have the ability to embody that intention… to focus and to hold it for sustained periods.”
“My original incantation was 'work through the fear,'” shares Karen, a participant in the workshop. “It felt so heavy, so I changed it to 'play through the fear.' It’s important to me to find ways to play in life. This is how I want to be.”
Sitka's workshop season runs now into October. While some workshops are full, others still have space available. View the full catalog and workshop availability online.
With gratitude for our instructors, returning and new, who create such supportive learning environments all summer long at Sitka,