Yesterday I ran an hour-long acrylic painting workshop at the Affordable Art Fair. Having never been to the fair at its Battersea site, I had no idea of what the set up would be, who would be attending, and what materials they would be able to use!! I arrived half an hour before the workshop began and was relieved to have a team of very helpful people on hand to help with setting up field easels and laying out palettes and acrylic colour, kindly provided by Jackson's Art Supplies. I brought with me a few objects to paint - plastic fruit, patterned fabrics and a broken bowl. I wanted to keep the subject matter very simple so that the attendees stood a chance of completing a painting in the hour.
I had not expected the majority of the attendees to be children, and having only really had experience of teaching adults in the past, this was a whole new experience to me. However I found the children to be incredibly respondent to advice, intelligent, and totally engaged in their work. Just as much if not more so than the adults! It was really lovely to have a couple of mothers and daughters attending and working alongside one another.
As anyone who has ever attended an art fair will tell you, they are pretty chaotic affairs, and so I really felt that the workshop was a wonderful diversion from the mayhem. Those who took part seemed to use painting as a way of switching off for an hour, and engaging with the process of picture making. The workshop was surprisingly serious, and very quiet! It was a wonderful experience and one I hope to repeat in the future. I hope that some of my students will be back to the fair exhibiting their work with a gallery next time...it was certainly better than a lot of the work I saw for sale!