What an amazing treat it was, in all ways. First of all to have the pleasure of finally meeting Marla, after many months of emails and phone calls…..I can only say that I was absolutely delighted, she is such a warm and generous woman…..totally present with each and every one of us during the workshop. I think I can speak for the other 8 folks that participated, we had the most amazing time.
Day one was a bit of a blur for me, and I must admit to feeling a wee bit stressed – this is the first ‘art retreat’ I have organized and there were many things that i didn’t anticipate! Not least of which was the abundance of flies that emerged when the heat was turned on up in the 2nd floor barn space!!! I sat in absolute horror as Marla gave her introductory talk, about an hour, and the flies just kept on appearing!! Luckily she has a good sense of humor and I got much help from other participants as we took a break and vacuumed them up! But i have to say, it was an ongoing issue! I’ll get that sorted out for next year for sure!!!
We spent most of that first day watching Marla do demo’s and creating our own value studies. I found it so helpful in my limited understanding of this very important aspect of painting!
Then we got to use her composition to create our own interpretation of this exercise. It was so enlightening to first of all watch as she created the image….to witness the emergence of the piece in real-time was so useful. But then to copy that process – I loved being able to refer to her piece and then try to figure out how she got the results!
In between all this fabulous painting and learning, we had the most amazing and abundant food! Each of us took on one meal to offer and therefore it was a great experience of different flavors! The day usually concluded around 4 pm and we all dispersed to do whatever we wanted, before meeting up for dinner.
Day 3: Now we were all rock’n and rollin’ – even the flies weren’t giving me the grief of the first day. Marla managed to take it in her stride, the way she coped with the flies coupled with a rather wonky easel….she was nothing short of a marvel! I honestly can’t say enough about the way she imparted her abundant knowledge with such graciousness. She has that rare quality in a teacher…willing and able to give her all, with kindness and humor……In my books she is the Pastel Goddess!!!
Here are a few images from the final demo she did on day 3!
Finally, let me tell anyone who is contemplating a workshop with Marla to absolutely go for it. Her ability to inspire and encourage each of us at our various stages of ability was so powerful, I think we all left after the weekend with a strong desire to continue painting.