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Artist seeks to ‘frustrate’ the brain during workshop

If You Go...

What: “Crash Course in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” with Mary Pat Ettinger

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Friday, Nov. 6

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

Cost: $55 includes all materials

— Leading numerous workshops and tutoring art students during the years, local artist Mary Pat Ettinger welcomes a challenge.

“Many students will walk in and already have in their head, ‘Oh, you can’t show me how to draw,’” Ettinger said. “But all I need is five hours to teach them a way to see things differently because if you can tie your shoe, you can draw.”

If You Go…

What: “Crash Course in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” with Mary Pat Ettinger



When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Friday, Nov. 6

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.



Cost: $55 includes all materials

For the first time, Ettinger will present a “Crash Course in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” in Steamboat Springs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdayand Friday, Nov. 6. at the Depot Art Center.

The workshop, she said, will go through a series of exercises that will “frustrate” the left side of the brain and transcend what many artists are accustomed to with methods for drawing and identifying objects. One of those is to study a Picasso drawing upside down to see the painting in a different way and to draw what they see using a series of lines.

“We had to draw what we saw and not have that thought, ‘Oh, I can’t draw that,’ but instead to just look and transform whatever the subject is on to paper,” said Angela Hendershott, one of Ettinger’s previous workshop students. “It really made me evolve as an artist.”

Ettinger said the workshop is based on best-selling author Betty Edwards series of books, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” in which Edwards discusses five perceptual skills crucial to form a global skill like riding a bike, reading and driving. Those skills include the perceptions of edges, spaces, relationships, light and shadows.

Ettinger said she took the week-long course about 25 years ago when it completely changed her drawing abilities and influenced her career as an artist.

“It never fails to amaze me with what people learn,” Ettinger said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to watch people walk away in just five hours with a new skill set. It doesn’t matter if you are an artist or not. It’s how you see.”

Ettinger said the condensed five-hour course is primarily based on hand-eye coordination and letting the right side take control as artists draw an image.

“Because it’s such a personal thing, these exercises open a door for people who thought that door would never open,” Ettinger said.

Hendershott, who took the workshop last summer in Craig, said she was able to apply the skills to more than just drawing lines and looking at images upside down or right-side up.

“It makes you appreciate the beauty in the world around you,” Hendershott said. “It opens up your mind in different ways, especially when you are looking at a problem. It gives you a different perspective on something.”

The cost of the workshop is $55 and includes all materials. Attendees are asked to bring a sack lunch. Register for the course at http://steamboatarts.org/workshops.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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