Guest Blogger Sasha Irving, Studios on the Park
Greetings Art Lovers!
“We thought they were just coming for the wine but Paso Robles is now changing the lives of its visitors through Art.” Yes, Paso Robles offers a one of a kind destination experience for tourists from around the world. They come for the world-class wines, innovative cuisine, pastoral scenery, and charms of our small town. And now they are also coming to change themselves from the inside out!
Fine art workshops are the latest attraction drawing out-of-state and international visitors to the heartof the Central Coast. Since opening in May 2009, artists at Studios on the Park have offered more than 300 classes and workshops. One such artist is Heidi Franscioni. Best known for her encaustic photographic paintings, her sought-after encaustic workshops teach the art of applying layers of hot molten beeswax with photographic images.
I recently stopped in and spoke with two of her visiting students and asked them about their experience. Like many visitors, Elizabeth Marks from San Fernando Valley originally came to wine taste in Paso Robles and the two day encaustic carving and painting workshop motivated her to return. During her three-day stay, she enjoyed complementing her “relaxing and inspiring” art studies with meals at Artisan and Robert’s and shopping downtown, to rave reviews. But best of all for Elizabeth was that “when class ends at 4 pm, you can go and taste wine to your heart’s content!”
It was Heidi’s status as one of the premier encaustic instructors in the nation that appealed to Becky Collins of Cincinnati, Ohio. She signed up for a six-day course to jumpstart her adventures in beeswax. Of her first trip to California and time in Paso Robles, she said “It was very impactful… I enjoyed every moment.” She gave beaming reviews of Heidi’s skill as a teacher and the soulful experience her workshop provided.
Becky is not alone in her sentiments. The life-changing quality of destination art education is a frequent result of the student experience at Studios on the Park. And that is Heidi’s intention. The space and serenity of Paso Robles motivate an introspective creative journey. Heidi explains, “Within the context of a beautiful environment where they are exploring the beauty of what our town has to offer, my students are also able to discover the beauty within themselves.”
A few spaces still remain for Heidi’s October workshops. Students can pick from workshops emphasizing carving and texture or photography and collage. They can also participate in a mixed media studio day or a brand new workshop in Encaustic Monotyping. Remember no experience is necessary. All that is needed is your creative self!