The Call of the Classroom

We are so fortunate to live in these times with so much access to fantastic teachers. It can be so tempting to take every gorgeous online class. I know I'm not alone in overdoing it sometimes and finding myself out of touch with all of them.

I also fear that, in my case, the urge to take classes seems to escalate when I am either too busy or not feeling inspired. I suspect that I hope to absorb all the inspiration through my skin and it will pour out of me, all without any conscious effort or time commitment on my part!

I have been focusing on technique classes lately, to flex my creative muscles, get my hands dirty and play with some of my less familiar supplies. I caught up with Claudine Hellmuth's Technique Toolbox and I'm now elbow deep in Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 101 and 102. My goal isn't to make art that looks like theirs, but to extend what I am able to do with what I have.

In fact, it is always my fear that my work will end up with a certain look. Back in the day, I didn't want my choice of fabric in quilting to lead people to say "Oh, don't you just love Debbie Mumm?" or scrapbook pages that scream Basic Grey. I want to take those materials and use them as elements in a unique work. I think Tim Holtz products worry me that way, but happily I have been getting some very Kelly results so far, and I am finding the Distress Range far more versatile than I expected.

Are you looking at any classes this season?

I have my eye on:

Silhouette (cutting machine) Classes from Kerri Bradford

Blogging from the Heart with Susannah Conway

The always tempting (but I've never succumbed yet) Lifebook with Tamara Laporte

Diane Culhane's Table Top at Carla Sonheim's site

and Carla's own Gelli Plate printing class.

I hate the feeling that I might be missing out, but I clearly can't do all of them! And I still have 3 months left in a couple of year long projects, that I would like to finish off properly. I think online classes have their uses, but I think that it is easy to get sidetracked. I think I may just need to show up at the blank page for a while and get some of my own work out.