Let's see: traveling from Boston all the way to Scottsdale would mean a whirlwind of travel for a three day workshop with Rose Frantzen. I've never done a portrait before, but I've wanted to for a long time now. Was it worth all that travel, time, and expense?
You bet it was.
I arrived early Sunday morning, and was met by my friend and fellow Frantzen devotee, Linda, in Scottsdale. We had a lovely lunch, sitting outside (had that been the only reason to fly to Arizona, it would have been enough), and then headed to the Bespoke Inn, where Linda swam a few laps in our pool before we laid out our supplies for the workshop. Linda, our friend Ellie and I found a nice spot for dinner that night, one where we were only vaguely aware of the Super Bowl goings on.
So far, so good.
Bright and early, too early to be admitted to the building, we walked across the street to the Scottsdale Artists School. It didn't take long to get inside and to see that we were in a group of 14 painters, something you can't take for granted in other workshops. Our hopes soared.
There was so much that Rose Frantzen did absolutely right. No lengthy introductions, no introductions at all in fact. She arrived, said hello, asked that everyone wear name badges, and got busy arranging the lighting and model for her demo. You know how politicians have that electric air about them? Well, may I introduce the next candidate from Iowa…? Rose has an energy about her that is some kind of powerful.
The set up in the studio included two cameras, so we had a clear view of the painting and her palette at all times. After Rose completed her demo, the stage was set for our models to pose. Did I mention that there were two models, one for each group of 7 students? Each group painted a full day with the first model, then switched for the next day. And the easels were assigned by lottery, so no jockeying for position.
Seriously folks, this is how it should be done.
The teaching was consistently on point, and Rose managed to spend time at every easel throughout the three days. Just listening and watching her critiques was an education. AND she actually encouraged the group to gather after class with her for cocktails and on day three, dinner. It was all we could do to sit and listen, Ms. Frantzen was sharing her world with us.
In summary: Rose Frantzen is an inspirational teacher, an artist's artist.
Now I have to put all of that to work for me.
Below I'll post one of my workshop sketches, because I promised so many of you that I would.