|An 8x8 practice "sample" of a Gesso Pull on Yupo paper -- fun to do, but a bit tricky to do well!|
Photo ©2018 Lynn Edwards
Jo's approach to teaching is a departure from the norm. Rather than working toward completion of a painting, those of us in her workshop came away from it with a number of 10x10 and 8x8 completed "samples" of the many distinctive techniques Jo has developed. They're all depicted in her very popular book, Abstract Explorations in Acrylic Painting, released in 2016 by North Light Publishing, but actually working through each technique under the direction of its creator heightened the learning experience even more.
I found the small format approach to be ideal...it does indeed relieve apprehensions that can crop up when an artist faces a large, blank, costly substrate. It doesn't take much to cover such a small piece of paper, and storing the finished samples is considerably easier than storing full sized sheets of watercolor paper or Yupo.
In this workshop I learned how to use a mouth atomizer to spray a super fine layer of paint, how to use single edge razor blades to "draw" motifs and geometric shapes onto these small surfaces, and how to use Fineline applicators to outline and brighten specific areas of the work, to build texture, and to create interest and variety. Those were just a few of the things I learned this week; there were so many other things my head was spinning from all the valuable tips and information Jo shared.
If you ever get the chance to attend one of Jo Toye's workshops, take it. You won't be disappointed, nor will your art be the same when it's over. "Transformative" is the only way I can describe it, and I feel very blessed and grateful for being able to participate in such an extraordinary experience.
Text and photo ©2018 Lynn Edwards