13 April, 2019

Workshop with Mashiul Chowdhury

March was a bit manic.

I had an exhibition open and a workshop planned with visiting painter, Mashiul Chowdhury.who says I bite off more than I can chew?!!

The exhibition went smoothly thanks to the professionalism of all those who participated.

Two years ago, you may remember, I had invited Martin Campos to come and deliver a workshop. On the last evening of Martins stay, as we drank wine and watched the sunset,   he asked me who the next person I wished to invite to come deliver a workshop would be. I was a little caught a little unawares by his question , because I had not thought I would do it again! But  Organising workshops is the way I can contribute to my local creative community .The first person who came to mind was Mashiul. He and Martin draw the figure together at the PAFA alumni Saturday life drawing and are friends. Martin agreed with my choice and I gave it no more thought until 6 months ago we got in contact with each others...and THAT is how it came to be that I invited Mashiul to visit and deliver a workshop:Abstracting the Urban landscape.

Not only was Mashiul a brilliant artist, he is also able to teach what he means, explain what he does and why and deliver demonstrations that were incredibly accomplished over and over again. He came prepared with photographs, images, his sketchbooks, a projector and even some paint for us! He made dinner for my family twice and we now know how to make a really good chicken curry!!!

The workshop itself was fantastic but it was the post -workshop time that I appreciated most with Mashiul. Gaining insight into another persons philosophy of life and getting a brief interaction with someone who belongs to a different culture is fascinating.Mashiul has boundless energy. He works full-time as a Doctor and then paints every night from about 9 pm till 1 in the morning. He also uses his car as a studio and paints before he has to work from the car. His images of this abstracted urban landscape are the reason I invited him ( Plus Martin"s recommendation). But riddle me this......when the hell dos the man sleep?! He did (in one of our chats) let me know that he is a huge fan of power naps.

Its quite an experience hosting a workshop. I have written down the list of things that have to be done:

  • identify the person from whom I wish to learn
  • contact and invite them
  • establish an idea of what the workshop will be about
  • agree on a date and number on workshop attendees, their fee
  • panic wildly as you run the sums.
  • work out a rate for attendees that covers all your costs 
  • work out thinks like catering and hire age of space, equipment required etc
  • panic again.
  • Make a pamphlet and start distributing it to all and sundry who might be interested
  • book models if required.
  • book space , if required
  • create a few documents for the workshop. ie materials required, background info and links to youtube etc 
  • continue to advertise
  • work out menu if self catering or organise caterers( don't forget to ask early about food restrictions)
  • continue to contact workshop artist to update on workshop progress.
  • continue to keep interested partied updated 
  • collect workshop deposits
  • collect final payments
  • organise airport collection and accommodation and transport for Artist
  • make sure crockery, cutlery, mugs, beverages are all organised
  • be host at the workshop and make sure everything runs smoothly
  • protect the tutor and recognise if and when he needs assistance
  • ensure the tutor rests adequately each day
  • try to enjoy and engage yourself
  • Pay the tutor fees and flights and anything else that is owed immediately.
  • follow up with everyone a week after the workshop 
I will continue to do this because I love learning new things, meeting new artist (both have been much admired by myself) and opening the learning opportunity up to other artists in New Zealand and introduce "new blood" into the pool of influence.

I take a risk when I invite someone to come and teach . What if their work is good but they can't teach? What if their work is sublime and they are a total arsehole? What if they smell odd and have personal hygiene issues and I am exposing my family to a wierdo? What if..........?  

I host the visiting artist in my home and look after them well, I hope. It is for this reason that I rely on personal references and recommendations before I ask anyone to come and teach. Sometimes I feel very stalker-ish as I go about my research of individuals, but I have to get it right.
Mashiul and Martin both set the bar quite high, so I am very interested to see who follows them! They both endeared themselves to my boys by making a feast for them!! 

Now, there are no pictures on this post because..........I have a new laptop and I have not organised my photos . So , although there ARE lots of photos in existence, I don't have any on this contraption. Opening my shared photo file is like opening Pandoras box. So I am just avoiding that issue at the moment until I'm ready for the fight.

I shall post some next time, sans writing, to balance this post out.

It may be in May. April is looking a bit antsy too.

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