Spending a month with Gillian Lee Smith

My respect for Gillian Lee Smith has grown immeasurably since spending a month with her during three Art Escapes. First, in Seattle for a Moment in Time, and again in Portland, and then after a quick break, in Amsterdam for Creating Emotional Portraits.

Gillian Lee Smith

She is thoughtful, witty, and generous in her teaching. She gives a lot of herself in each workshop that she leads. Yes, she spends time demonstrating but her goal is to spend as much time as she can with each student to make sure that they are understanding the exercise and adapting it to their skill level. If you are new to drawing and painting, she encourages you, if you have more experience, she challenges you.

Attending one of Gillian's workshop stretches you and makes you a better artist, especially if you have access to her paint palette as I did in Portland and Amsterdam. Wow, did that make a difference. I foresee a lot of hours putting paint samples together in a color journal. 

 One of Gillian's paint palettes 

One of Gillian's paint palettes 

Time and time again, I watched students create drawings and paintings that exceeded their expectations. That's what a good teacher does, she inspires you to go beyond your comfort level. Powerful paintings that evoked a lot of emotions, and sometimes a few tears as we shared our goals for each morning. 

 A Moment in Time, Seattle

A Moment in Time, Seattle

 Moment in Time Portland

Moment in Time Portland

Gillian and the rest of our artists loved creating in the atelier in Amsterdam that Daniella Rubinovitz shared with us. It was quite an experience for all of the artists and I was thankful I was able to share it again. Daniella and little Noah were quite a hit! And Claire, our model that we had last year, returned again for an encore performance. 

Amsterdam.Gillianleesmith

 

There was time for a canal ride, visits to art supply stores, museums, a book fair and some wonderful meals. All in all, a most memorable time and everyone navigated the streets with ease. Though, we did have to keep an eye on Gillian as she crossed if she was in the middle of a discussion. We were there for a holiday and a world cup soccer match. That was an interesting night. French fries, white beer, delectable chocolate cookies and spirited talks at Hotel Botique View. Delightful. 

 Creating Emotional Portraits with beautiful Claire in the middle of the back row

Creating Emotional Portraits with beautiful Claire in the middle of the back row

While there, Gillian and I finished planning our trip to London and Northumberland next May with Judy Wise. Starting in London, visiting a couple of museums, going to a show, taking a turn on the London Eye before taking the train to Northumberland where Gillian lives in Alnwick. There will be castles, gardens, ruins, small seaside villages to enjoy and to inspire us for Intuitive Explorations. There are two spots left. 

 Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

Of course, there are more trips to plan! Portraits again in Seattle at the beautiful studio of our friend, Leslie West. And another somewhere on the coast. 

I'm missing my friend already but look forward to many more adventures together. It seems some of the Amsterdam artists have us planned out for the next couple of years!

 Gillian's painting

Gillian's painting

 Judy Wise and Gillian Lee Smith

Judy Wise and Gillian Lee Smith

Until our next adventure, my friend. 

 

Is it August yet?

Is it August yet?

The Magic of Chiapas, Mexico

The Magic of Chiapas, Mexico