Wow! What better word to describe a workshop with artist Jason Pollen. I was lucky enough to spend 2 days with a group of 15 talented women and one truly amazing man (I know he is too humble to agree). I feel that meeting Jason has been a bit of a life changing experience and I’m terribly excited about it! I doubt that I can adequately share the feeling I experienced, but trust me when I tell you that it was an opportunity that I will remain forever grateful for. If you ever have a chance to study with Jason Pollen – DO IT!
This workshop took place at the Artpoint Galleries and Studio Society building, where we set up shop in a gallery space. With doors wide open it didn’t take long to discover that we were next to some active train tracks. Made for some unusual background music, but nothing that could slow the fantastic flow of energy we had going.
We started the workshop by working on simple drawings that were passed from table to table, with each participant adding a mark. We did exercises where we expressed a word or phrase with simple tools on paper. It was a challenge to work with different media and in a different manner from what we were used to. Stimulates the gray matter! As a group we discussed all the drawings and anxiously fretted over what was to follow…
Our next exercises were done on canvas – plain canvas. Guess which single item I forgot to pack to the workshop? I meant to, I really did, but somehow I never made that last dash up to the studio to grab some. Fortunately my friend, Pam, was kind enough to share and I was able to get started. Then the fun really began. We were introduced to several new materials and it was great experimenting with their unique characteristics. We worked with pencils – fabulous thick water-soluble pencils that make expressive marks on fabric. We painted with fluid acrylic pigments, ironed fabrics together and stitched by hand and machine. The possibilities were endless and the variety of work produced was totally amazing. People were focused.
Jason was incredibly knowledgable and totally inspiring. He talked about his life, his work and the inspiration behind some of that work. He shared willingly and offered a wealth of technical information. His guidance was forthcoming and he was undaunted by our questions. We were able to experiment with new ideas in a supportive atmosphere. There is something to be said for working around other artists. The energy was vibrant.
After 2 days of intense work, we gathered together to share and discuss some of what we had accomplished. These are works in progress, studies and experiments.