A Weekend Escape to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts…
Dustin Farnsworth prepping a demo. That’s a cardboard “plate” prepped for printing below him. Would love to do that with elementary but I don’t think administration would love classroom exacto blade use.

A Weekend Escape to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts…

I thought that I might post a few pictures from my weekend at Arrowmont. When I arrived I was a little taken aback that Arrowmont was not secluded in the mountains above Gatlinburg; the entrance is actually right beside the Hard Rock cafe and the campus is just above the main drag of the town. It was amazing how I completely forgot that I was so close to city life for 4 days though. I cannot find words to express the quality of the workshop, surroundings and people. After agonizing over my fear of getting a roommate with verbal diarrhea I was “bumped” up into a private room and no suite mate to share my bathroom with (it “pays” to go during an early season weekend!). The people were so nice that I even quit trying to sit by myself at meals as I realized that it was perhaps a little offensive that I tried several times to do just that (my introverted side enjoys some meals and readings alone).

There were only two people in my workshop (a rarity but they decided to keep the workshop since it was taught by a resident artist). The progress we made with so few people in our learning environment and an extremely knowledgeable, flexible and willing instructor was beyond anything I imagined. The other student was a botanical artist from just outside of Gatlinburg. She was a delight, an inspiration with her delicate watercolor approaches and she loved having her own press. Dustin Farnsworth was our instructor. I am regularly inspired by artists but I truly cannot describe the awe that I had for Dustin’s work (and his willingness to teach us!).  On a side note, many artists are experts in one media. Some are accomplished in more than one media. Dustin’s wonderful printmaking drew me to take the workshop but his wood work is truly mind-bogglingly amazing! I’m posting a picture of one of his works in wood below. I wish that I could claim that I was jumping into wood work and say that it was mine but my somewhat decent math mind cannot even fathom the angles, measurements, attention to detail and overall vision that it takes to create a piece like this!

I’ll quit blabbering now. Pictures are much more fun to look at. You’ll see some chairs in my printmaking. Those are “trace monotypes” and I am hoping to do those with the 5th graders soon after Spring Break. The portraits are “subtractive” monotypes made by “wiping away” the ink. It’s quite a feat to reverse one’s thinking into focusing on the negative space first. I am looking forward to doing this process both in my own art and with the kiddos. The BEST thing is that I think that I have found the perfect water-based non-toxic inks that are reviewed as top-notch for monotypes (no mineral spirits for this gal or the kiddos!). I’m ordering my first batch to play with tonight.

 

Dustin Farnsworth prepping a demo. That’s a cardboard “plate” prepped for printing below him. Would love to do that with elementary but I don’t think administration would love classroom exacto blade use.

 

Some of my prints from Day 1 and 2 of the workshop. I printed a backward American Flag. After hours of explaining the backward printmaking deal to my students I committed the crime myself. It's the vertical one hung that way in an attempt to trick your mind.
Some of my prints from Day 1 and 2 of the workshop. I printed a backward American Flag. After hours of explaining the backward printmaking deal to my students I committed the crime myself. It's the vertical one hung that way in an attempt to trick your mind.

 

Abe Lincoln Monotype | Claire Dunaway Studios
Honest Abe. My first “subtractive” portrait with instruction from Dustin. The ghost print is on the left.

 

Audie Murphy | Claire Dunaway Studios
One plate that I was “adding” to after doing the “subtractive” method.

 

Audie Murphy Monotype | Claire Dunaway Studios
The full line of Audie Murphy monotypes.

 

Arrowmont Wooden Sculpture | Claire Dunaway Studios
Finally, Dustin’s sculpture. It looks like metal, doesn’t it? It’s actually all wood with some crazy rust paint, automotive paint and other materials I cannot grasp. This just amazes me.
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