I wrote the post below back in April of 2015. Since then, so much has happened on my journey along this artistic path. As I reread my workshop review of Dawn Emerson’s Pastel Innovations, I was immediately choked up all over again. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the glimmer of tears in my eyes. The end of this workshop was very emotional for me.

Dawn had spoken right to my heart. I had finally encountered someone else with the same intense passion to create that I felt. Not only that, but she was able to put it into words and, more importantly, onto paper. She clearly loved to share this passion, her journey, and the lessons that she had learned along the way. I didn’t want Pastel Innovations to end. I wanted to sit and absorb everything Dawn Emerson had to share about art. I was captivated.

As time went on, a couple of opportunities to work with her again passed by, but that zeal has stuck with me. I have regretted letting barriers get in my way of learning more from her. When the decision was made to reopen the school (ADD LINK HERE TO YOUR PAGE FOR NEWCOMERS) this past summer, I began to think of the instructors from which I wanted to learn. Of course, Dawn Emerson immediately came to mind. Despite the fear (WHAT FEAR?), I reached out to her. While traveling, I was able to visit Dawn in her wonderful studio in Terrebonne, Oregon to discuss the possibility of her joining us as an instructor. She graciously said yes!

Dawn is a very sought-after instructor, art show judge, author, and speaker. Even though the Tubac School of Fine Art is a smaller venue, she has agreed to come share her knowledge and passion here. As a whole, I cannot tell you how grateful I have been for the blessing of unbelievable support from the art community in this venture.

ftfdia-tsfaDawn will be holding two back-to-back workshops in February at the Tubac School of Fine Art. Take it from me; you do not want to miss this amazing opportunity! Sign up at (LINK)


One Word: Transformative

transform |transˈfôrmverb with obj. ] make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of: 

I mentioned to someone that I would be attending a pastel workshop led by Dawn Emerson she said she had heard great things about her and her workshops, in fact, one person had told her it was “transformative to her own art”. After two days of incredible instruction and motivation, I would agree, wholeheartedly!

The title of the workshop “Dance with Pastels” was a literal description of her style of instruction. With progressive steps, she led us in a dance with our artwork both figuratively and literally. “Lead with your belly button”, “feel the form and lightly describe with the charcoal” find the rhythm and locate *******repetition in your composition

Like a party whisperer, she had the energy and personality to take the wallflowers away from the edges and onto the dance floor, so to speak.

She shared the ups and downs of her career, She encourages trying various mediums and mixing multiple media, exploring and releasing creativity by letting go of pressures we put on ourselves about cost and perfection. working in series to explore all of the elements of a subject or composition.

I wish I had written this idea down verbatim she shared about painting the same thing many times. but it went something like this… if I were to paint you, the first couple times it would resemble you in appearance, then a couple more times, I would begin to pick up on your personal characteristics and your personality would begin to shine through, then after multiple sessions my feelings about you would be apparent. This idea has stuck with me and comes to mind often.

If you were to ask me one reason to take a workshop from Dawn, it would be very hard for me to narrow down. I think it would be, although there were 13 students in a two-day workshop, she quickly picked up on each person’s strengths, weaknesses, and temperament. Then towards the end of the workshop took the time to guide each of us in ways to improve our work and enrich our artistic experiences.

I am embarrassed to say this post has been in my “drafts” folder since October 2014. I wanted to do it justice. Elaborate more, gush more over Dawn’s work and teaching skills and share some big plans that developed as a result of this workshop… Best laid plans.

Most of the time my ideas are bigger and more involved than I have the time to implement. Since that time I have lost a good bit of my photos and a whole lot of my recall!

Just take it from me if the opportunity arises to take a class from Dawn Emerson, jump at the chance! I promise it will be transformative,_MG_5622


One Word: Transformative







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