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"Feeling an overflow of excitement": a review.

Michael Pearson was a participant in our Collage workshop in the summer of 2023. Here is his review of the workshop and a mixed media artwork that he made, inspired by the daily sessions.


What did this workshop give you?

 

This workshop provided me with such a rich visual vocabulary to choose from, while working in the medium of collage. I came into the workshop with a natural inclination towards working with paper and texture, and since have exploded in my creativity using a wide range of materials. I’ve filled multiple sketchbooks using the techniques we learned in lecture and feel a boost in my confidence when facing the many choices that arise during a collage process. This workshop was incredibly valuable to me in my development as an artist, and I will forever be grateful for the knowledge I gained.

 

What inspired you?

 

I thought that the series of artists you provided each day gave me inspiration, and I was exposed to many great new artists that I admire now. I remember feeling an overflow of excitement from those image rich PowerPoints. I was specifically inspired by Hoch, Bearden, Ernst, Schwitters, Stezaker and Lee Krasner (especially her collaging Pollocks paintings.. that may still be my favorite). I was also very inspired from the decollage of advertising posters which resulted in the work I was most proud of, and now have gravitated towards in current work. It was also really nice to see my favorite artists Rauschenberg and Dali, especially work that I was unfamiliar with.



What did you think about the methodology and set-up?

 

I think your program was curated beautifully with each day having a separate theme. By grouping certain artists together and tracing the practice of collage back to its origin, I feel that I have a better understanding of techniques I can use when I am trying to convey a certain emotion. It was really beneficial to have a different focus each day, and I thought it kept things very exciting. I also appreciated the schedule each day, of having the lecture in the morning and then the rest of the day to work, followed by a critique to see how everyone was doing.

 

What did you think about the coaching?

 

I think you have a very effective style of coaching. You were able to get my ideas flowing during the lectures and offered prompts which helped me get started. Once I was working, I noticed you would give space and wouldn’t check in much, which I appreciated. Obviously If I had a question or was struggling I know you would help, but you would save your words about any sort of critique for the end. You weren’t constantly watching over and offering suggestions. I enjoyed having the freedom to express myself, and then would receive helpful reflection after I had finished. I valued greatly that your words were always meaningful when you spoke, and also felt that I was performing as an artist to my best potential during the workshop.

 

What did you think about the location, accommodation and meals?

 

Wow… Absolutely incredible is an understatement. Yours’ and Adonis’ home is beautiful, and I really did see it as an oasis for creativity. It was a nice escape from Athens and being in the countryside gave me so much peace. The sounds and smells were astonishing. It was sad to learn that a forest fire had destroyed the land around, but I am so grateful you were able to save your home. It was an honor to be welcomed into your space with love. From the first time going out into town at the restaurant, to all of the delicious meals you provided each day, It didn’t even compare to our travels throughout the rest of Greece the following weeks. I remember Kate and I saying while we were at dinner the following weeks that we missed your cooking more. Not even to mention the homemade wine, olives, oil, herbs. I still think about it often. Thank you so much, not only for amazing food and drinks, but also a wonderful atmosphere as well. We had a great group of people during the workshop and always enjoyed conversations and listening to music each night. Kate and I still talk about how profound of an experience staying in your home was, and I’m extremely grateful for the memories we made during that week.

 


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