Just arrived, I am sitting on a stool in the children’s wing at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, about 30 km north of Copenhagen. I look at the 12-14 other participants, all women, most of them in their forties (like me) or older. It worries me a little. I signed up for creative workshops, hoping to be challenged artistically in cheerful company of art-loving, creative people; and preferably not solely coffee-drinking elderly women.
We are greeted by Louise Hauerberg, head of the children’s wing at Louisiana Art Museum. She tells us to start in one of the exhibition rooms, where we are to look at one particular work of art, a masterpiece, and discuss techniques used, materials, expression, etc. Then, it will be our turn: Within two hours, we are to create our own little piece of art, inspired by the professional artwork in the exhibition.
This evening’s professional work of art proves to be a huge, partially abstract painting by German Georg Baselitz, who is known for turning his motives upside down. Apparently trees in this case. While Louise and a second instructor talk about the artist and his way of working, the participants, me included, walk back and forth to watch, take notes, and shoot pictures with our phones.
Back in the children’s wing, we first have to paint a one-minute portrait of each other by using only our fingers, two colors of acrylic paint, and paper. It’s a good way to loosen up, both socially and for creativity. Then, we get canvases and provide ourselves with more acrylic paints, brushes, etc. “Don’t think, just get started,” a fellow-participant says as I, hesitantly, look over the shoulders of her and some other fast ladies in full swing with acrylic paint and canvas. Phew! I feel “artistically rusty”, but little by little, I manage to dab, pour, and drag paint onto my canvas, and I struggle not to make it look like a landscape.
The athmosphere is good, people chat, laugh, and walk around to borrow colors and watch each other’s work. Finally, we gather all works on the floor to compare and comment on the process and results, and I realize that my windblown trees are more figurative than most others. Anyway, it’s fun to see such different paintings come out of the same source of inspiration. Some participants paint on a daily basis. Others are here for fun and to have a different art experience.
We talk about the group composition and wonder about the absence of men? According to Louise, there are a few male participants in the other two weekly workshops. The gender balance is puzzling, though, especially considering that the majority of famous and recognized artists are men. Might be due to prejudices like the ones I had prior to this evening; it could also just be due to work pressure or lack of awareness.
I drive home around 9:30 pm, happy, with the feeling that this experience did me well. Perhaps the result is not worth writing home about (I signed mine, though), but the workshop lived fully up to my expectations: I was challenged to work with art in a different way, and I got to meet a jolly group of creative people. I look forward to next week, where sculptures-on-sticks, made from newspaper, masking tape and flamingo are next on the menu!
- 8 weekly workshops every spring and fall
- Styles, themes, and materials change every time and include acrylic painting, sculpture, installation, textiles, photography, and collage
- The course ends with a private view. Then, it is up to you to reveal to family and friends which works are yours!
- Sign up at louisiana.dk