Jonathan Talbot
Workshop Reviews and Comments
New York

The following letter is from Robin Colodzin, a participant in a 2008 workshop held in the artist's studio in Warwick, NY.
It has been reprinted in its entirety with Robin's permission.



Dear Jonathan,

I have intended to write to you since the summer, my apologies it has taken me so long to do so. I’m writing to thank you for the wonderful workshop. Since it, I’ve been using the techniques with much glee and satisfaction, and creating collages that go beyond what I felt able to create before.

Your talk at the beginning really freed me up – the ball of tin foil, the artists in a line, adding my piece; I hold onto that image. Also, worrying less about copyright issues, and recognizing that “copying” is a valid part of the process of art has made me much more relaxed about the process. I have the piece of paper from the 400 year old book up in my studio, to remind me nothing is too precious to use.

Probably one of the most important things for me was your comment about not asking yourself if you like your work or not; that you are not a critic, so your job is not to judge the work, but to create it. And also, how you said when we make mistakes, leave them, don’t try to fix them. Fix them in another work. This has allowed me to engage in my creative works with a playfulness and trust in the process that has been both delightful, and created delightful results. I’m allowing myself to make things that at first seem stupid, ugly, or what have you. This has created a number of my favorite pieces (ok, I can’t help but decide if I like things or not, but I do try to not give my opinions much importance). The really great thing is that I now encourage myself to go ahead and make things I don’t like, rather than trying to make something “good”. It’s quite liberating.

Your encouragement of me to show my work, to enter it into a juried show (which I haven’t done yet, but intend to), you telling me that I could go anywhere I want with my art… all of these words I keep as small treasures. I value your opinion, and your kind words have given me so much more confidence. I’ll be showing my work at a local coffee shop in March, and have talked to a local gallery about possibly showing work this summer. I’m framing works for showing as I go along, taking them seriously enough to do that, rather than just sticking them all in a drawer as I’ve done in the past.

I’m so very excited and alive with what has opened up in me since your workshop. It was truly a life changing experience, and I am forever grateful to you for your generous, wise and playful teaching.

Below are some of the pieces I’ve been creating. You’ll see I’ve continued working with the architectural drawing background in several pieces.

Wishing you a creative, prolific, peaceful and prosperous 2009,


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