Monday, November 30, 2015

My state convention Part 2 - Roofing Felt workshop

One of the workshops I presented at the recent NYSATA convention was a 50 minute hands-on workshop painting on roofing felt.  I have previously blogged about painting on roofing felt here, so I won't go into extensive detail in this post, since you can just hop on over to the prior post for all the juicy details!  Plus, in that post, you'll find links to a couple of fabulous blogger gals whose earlier blog posts on roofing felt were my initial inspiration. 
 Anyhow - I had somewhere between 50 and 60 people in my workshop!  It was a full house, standing room only!  I absolutely hate to turn anyone away from a workshop, so I tried to squeeze everyone in.  I had plenty of roofing felt, paint, and brushes. 
The method that most workshop attendees were trying out was a "faux resist".  Drawings were done with white chalk or soap lines.  Participants didn't actually paint over the lines as in a true resist, but painted around them.  The chalk was either sidewalk chalk or chalkboard chalk; the soap was Dial cut into smaller rectangular bricks.  Both of these are good options because they are easily rinsed off to leave black lines showing at the completion of the artwork.  In these photos, the chalk/soap lines are visible because you have to wait till the paint is dry to wash them off.  I presume most of these guys and gals were rinsing them in their hotel room sinks that evening!  
The paints are acrylic, and I recommended the use of white paint under the color or mixed with the color to give a brighter coverage.  Prior to the workshop, I discovered my white paint appeared to be spoiled.  I had noticed, in the conference vendor area, that their were lots of sample bottles of paint being handed out in the Chroma booth.  So I went to them and asked if any of their samples were white, explaining why I wanted/needed white acrylic.  Instead of giving me sample bottles, after learning we were painting on a black surface and wanted good coverage, they gave me a ginormous bottle of Chroma A>2 Lightfast Heavy Body Acrylic.  Holy smokes!  What a gift!  I haven't used the paint yet myself, but I can tell you that the participants all loved it, and it showed up incredibly bright on their roofing felt.  The paint is so heavily pigmented that the bottle is really really heavy!  Anyhow, I imagine this paint is pretty expensive, but totally worth it.  Fabulous stuff!  Thank you Chroma!
Some of the participants also experimented with some metallic paints I brought, since they show up very well on the roofing felt too.  In the picture on the right below, look at the painting further back - the green and gold paisleys.  I didn't get another photo of it and wish I did, because I love it!
 As you can see from all these photos, the attendees came with great ideas and had a terrific experience, and turned out some really lovely pieces in a short period of time (by the time my intro was done, and leaving a little time for cleanup at the end, they probably had less than 40 minutes to draw and paint).  On the right below, the design reminds me of a henna mehndi pattern.
 As a matter of fact, I had several folks tell me, toward the end of the conference, that my roofing felt workshop had been their favorite workshop of the whole weekend!  It is a good reminder that art teachers, just like our students, prefer hands-on time to just about anything else.  You can spend hours putting together a fancy PowerPoint presentation, when all people really want to do is have a chance to try something out that they haven't done before.  And they will be happy!  This is definitely food for thought for next year's convention, when I am deciding what to present.
 Here's a few more pieces being created by my wonderful workshop attendees.
 The texture of the roofing felt is so appealing to paint on, and there's so much potential in this medium.  I can see wonderful possibilites for lessons on various artists: Britto, Laurel Burch, Modigliani, Leger, Roualt, Picasso, Mattise, and more, and also various cultural inspirations: African mudcloth, tapa cloth from the Pacific islands, papel amate bark paintings from Mexico, molas from Panama, aboriginal dot paintings, aand more. 
 If you check out my prior post at the link here, you'll also find I've experimented with using roofing felt for collage, and for some 3-dimensional exploration too.  Since that time, I've done one other experiment, successfully, but not yet photographed: weaving!  The roofing felt is very strong, and easy to cut, and I had fun painting on two pieces and weaving them together, and also weaving them first and then painting the woven-textured surface.  You could also weave fibers and other stuff into the roofing felt.  So many possibilities....  Here's one last image from my workshop. 
 I taught other workshops at the convention, and also attended a couple of terrific ones, and I'll talk about them in a subsequent post or posts.  This is enough for today!


  1. What a wonderful variety of projects created! I love presenting workshops at my state conference because what is better than creating art in a room full of art teachers?! I'm definitely going to have to make a run to the hardware store!

    1. I agree. I love presenting at state conventions too. It's gratifying to discover that you have "groupies" who return to your workshops each year no matter what you are presenting!

  2. I am going to do this with my portfolio class

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