It seems that anytime I converse with someone regarding my drawing journey, the name Mike Sibley always seems to be spoken. If there has been one individual who has influenced my development as an artist, it has to be Mike. He is not only a fantastic graphite artist, but he is also my web designer, my mentor and has become a very dear friend over the years.
I had the distinct pleasure of attending a drawing workshop presented by Mike in Goshen, Indiana. I finally got to meet Mike and his wonderful wife, Jenny.
The workshop was held in a unique venue. An old bag factory has been turned into a collection of specialty shops, galleries and artist's studios. We had the 3rd floor of this old warehouse as our gathering.
We had 12 artists participating in the workshop. So we received a lot of one-on-one attention from Mike. Here is a group shot of us all. There were several folks that I have conversed with on-line that attended so I felt as though I was meeting "old friends". Carl Wilson and Richard Fuller were amongst those. Amanuel is a another artist that I spent some time talking to as well.
Carl Wilson, Les and myself hung out one evening and shared a brew at local pub. Carl lives in Maryland and had a 10 hour drive.
A public gallery reception was hosted Saturday night. Mike has several of his original drawings on display. I have a couple of his prints, but it was a special treat to see his original artwork. Images on-line and prints just do not compare to seeing the originals....seeing every pencil stroke and the incredible detail he obtains.
Vincent Whitehead and his wife Cheryl made a special 3-hour drive from Ohio for the opening reception. Vince is a pen and ink artist that shares the same love of landscapes and old barns as I do. Here is a link to his incredible artwork: http://www.rural-route-one.net/
The workshop was amazing. Mike spent quality one-on-one time with each artist. He covered topics of pencil techniques, textures and negative drawing. Mike's workshop is truly for artist's of any skill level...from beginners to well-seasoned artists. He assesses each artists skills and tailors his instructions accordingly.
Here is a shot of Amanuel, Mike and Carl. Mike is demonstrating how to draw hair.
I'm sitting next to Carl in class and that's fun too! We are helping each other as we do the exercises. It's tough to teach an old dog like me new tricks, so Carl is catching on quicker than I am! Carl is to my right and Mike is trying to explain to me to "DRAW MUCH DARKER"!!
Negative Drawing - This is challenging and amazing stuff! Finally the light bulb is lighting up! We were all working so hard, you could have heard a pin drop.
The last day of the workshop was dedicated to practice all the techniques Mike presented the previous two days. This allowed us to really absorb and test out our understanding of creating textures and negative drawing.
One of my most memorable moments was having Mike stand behind me and coach me as I was drawing. Mike gently repeated the phrase "push the subject back into the shadows." Then trusting his advice and watching things just appear on the paper....pure magic!
We finished the day with hugs and good wishes.
For me...this has been an experience of a life time. To have the chance to meet and work with Mike has been a dream come true. That I would ever have the opportunity to meet Mike Sibley in person!
I have to share one more thing...Sunday was my 50th birthday and Jenny bought a birthday card and had everyone attending the workshop sign it. Les bought a birthday cake and the group sang happy birthday.
Thanks for the bestest birthday gift ever! The gift of friendship.