Group Dynamics

They always say that two heads are better than one. But as an only child, I tended to stick to myself, and I hated group projects and asking for help. Luckily, as I got older, I became more comfortable working with others and recognizing when I needed an outside perspective. Most artists already know the value of collaboration, and for hundreds of years painters have gathered together to share ideas. Little has changed, and today art workshops are a wonderful opportunity for painters of all levels to improve their skills, meet likeminded creative types, and in some instances, work with their idols.

At American Artist we know how important it is for artists to have a sense of community, which is why, long before we began our online forums, we created the Workshop and Art School Directory, which appears every year in the March issue of American Artist. Covering workshops from all over America, and even some in Europe, our comprehensive list provides hundreds of opportunities for artists all over the world to come together and pursue their passion.

Artist Susannah Hart Thomer, whom I spoke to recently for the summer 2010 issue of Watercolor, is a big fan of workshops, and she finds that no matter how far along she is in her career, they never lose value. “Workshops are one avenue in the lifelong journey of learning to create works of art,” she says. “And for me, it can be motivating to see how others perceive their work processes and discoveries. Then those questions that pop up in your mind that you can't quite figure out the answers to are solved by watching and listening to that particular artist whose work you admire, and there's a communal ‘Aha!’ from the other students in the workshop.”

For those of you who are faced with creative questions that seem to have no answer, pick up a copy of the March 2010 issue of American Artist, and find artists near you who are also working to find the answers.

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Naomi E

About Naomi E

Naomi Ekperigin is an associate editor of American Artist, Drawing, Watercolor, and Workshop magazines. She loves art in all its forms, but after years of painting as a child, found that her skills flourished when she put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Her work at American Artist not only allows her to learn from modern-day masters but also inspires her in her own creative endeavors.

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