Tag Archives: workshop

Painting Holiday workshop: Student work on the theme of dominance

10 Reasons To Go On A Painting Holiday Workshop

A year and a half ago, Mario Vukelic invited me to lead a painting holiday workshop with Pastel Workshops Croatia. And early this September, it happened! I had an amazing group of six students who were dedicated in their pursuit of pastel painting knowledge. There were times of concentrated silence and times of uncontrolled laughter – all of which filled my heart. And as an instructor, there’s nothing like hearing  ‘Aha!’ exclamations!

Happily, although the weather was sometimes iffy, we had a spacious studio in which to work. The weather prevented us from going on the Istrian tour (boo hoo) but on the bright side, it gave the students more learning time from me in the studio and I was happy to share more!

The Hotel Villa Gloria is small and beautiful, rooms are comfy and clean, staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating, food is plentiful and delicious, and there’s a gorgeous pool for swimming or just contemplating life with book and cocktail in hand at the end of a hard painting day. Perfect!


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From Gail Sibley's post 'Get the most out of a workshop': My demo

14 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Workshop

Are you taking a workshop anytime soon? I recently taught my workshop, Ramp Up Your Colour, to a small group of students on Salt Spring Island. Their focus and willingness to follow where I led was so rewarding. They really were the ideal students! Seeing their dedication to learning inspired me to write this post about ways to get the most out of a workshop.

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Pastel Workshops: Gail Sibley, "Gordes," pastel on Pastelcard, 9 x 12 in

Pastel Workshops Coming Up!

Many subscribers have been asking me, “When are your next pastel workshops?!” So I’m pleased to tell you about a number of them that are coming up.

First there’s the three I’ll be teaching at the Pastel Artists Canada Conference, then two pastel workshops on Salt Spring Island in August, and then there’s the potential one next year in France (but I’ll need your help to make that happen!). There’s also a teaser…..


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The Trouble with Workshops: Demoing thumbnails. Photos by P. Calvert

The Trouble With Workshops

Recently I taught a one-day workshop to 15 artists from the Salt Spring Island Painters Guild. As always when I teach, I had a marvellous time. It seemed the same was true for most of the participants going by the feedback on the evaluation forms. Having said that however, I want to talk about about the trouble with workshops.

First, a little background info. My workshops are generally geared towards beginners and in fact, it turned out that half the class had never used pastels before. As I’m often frustrated (and then so are the students!) by the low quality of the pastels brought by participants, I insisted the students come with a few GOOD pastels, which included some light, middle, and dark values, Continue reading

Moving Towards Abstraction – An Upcoming Workshop!


This is a quickie as I’m almost out the door as I write this! We are off to join my Mum and Dad on an Alaska cruise with siblings and their spouses – eight couples in all. It should be a heap of fun!!! And no internet – how great is that?? Well, mostly great but I’ll have to wean myself…

Before I left however, I wanted to tell you about an upcoming workshop. I am super excited about it as it really relates to the work I am doing now. It will take place on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada 27-28 September at ArtSpring. As it will be in the Guild room, there will only be room for 6 participants. The price is $225. The focus will be working in pastel but you’re welcome to bring other media. (I will have a supply list when you register.)


Gail Sibley, "Glimpses," pastel, 18 x 12 in, Peninsula Gallery

Gail Sibley, “Glimpses,” pastel, 18 x 12 in, Peninsula Gallery

Moving Towards Abstraction – a two-day workshop in pastels

Do you feel a pull to make your work more abstracted?

Are you feeling like you are in a rut with your paintings?

Are you searching for a way to move your work forward?

Are you interested in the creative process, in the journey?

Do you ever feel like you want to go beyond, deeper into, the representational pastel work you are doing now?

Then come to this workshop! We will take old work you are unhappy with and push it towards abstraction. We’ll also do plenty of exercises to unleash the intuitive part of you and create work from scratch.

But abstraction isn’t just about splashing on the pastel. It’s about looking at what you have created with an artistic eye, taking into account how the composition works, how the colours work, how the textures work, how the edges work, how the shapes work, how the values work. Is the whole unified with a path through it? Are the principles of dominance and repetition followed? Does it evoke a mood? Does it evoke an emotion? Does it say something to the viewer? Does it say something to you? These are some of the questions we will explore in this two-day workshop.

We’ll also begin to look carefully at the world and be inspired by seemingly innocuous objects, patterns, and arrangements. All these will feed into your creative soul and re-emerge from your creative hand, moving towards abstraction.

So come prepared to have fun, take risks, and blow caution to the wind!

How does that sound???


Plein air painting in pastels video

I am making progress on my videos on plein air painting. Since I still haven’t done the voiceover and I will be away for a week, this is YOUR opportunity to tell me what you want to know about plein air painting in pastels. Anyone who gives input on this topic will be entered into a draw for a free copy when it comes out!!! So come on, tell me all your frustrations, ask all your questions. When I get back I will be focused on getting it finished. So don’t delay!!


By the way, when you respond, I won’t reply right away because I will be away from internet (you see? it’s gonna be hard for me!!).


That’s it! I’ll talk to you when I get back.

Until then,

~ Gail

PS. Please feel free to share this information with anyone who you think might benefit from it 🙂