February 8, 2015
Judy Coates Perez is an International award-winning mixed media textile artist, traveling globally to teach painting and mixed media techniques on fabric. Her three-day Workshop, Acrylic Inks on Fabrics, will be held at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops April 9 to 12, 2015.
How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?
Before I began teaching painting about 7 years ago, I home-schooled my kids who are now 21 and 24 years old. Having kids with very different learning styles, I learned a lot about teaching and that my main goal was to facilitate the process of learning by helping my children learn how to learn.
I often see my role as an instructor is to be a guide for creativity, by teaching techniques that will help others create the work they visualize in their head, because they have not yet gained the skills to transfer those ideas to fabric on their own.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
I love it when students get excited about their work, when they surprise themselves with what they’ve accomplished.
I am a very relaxed teacher, and want students to also feel comfortable and enjoy the process, otherwise what’s the point? It’s about doing what you love, because when you love it, you’ll do it a lot, and when you do it a lot you will improve. The important thing to remember is, you won’t master a new technique in a day, but you might be surprised at just how much you can achieve.
What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?
Having someone to guide you and answer questions as they come up when trying something new, or find out where the problems lie when you haven’t been successful with a technique on your own.
Trying new things with others can also be a wonderful source of encouragement when you’re feeling out of your element.
Working within a group is a great opportunity to see how others approach the same task, learn from one another’s successes and mistakes, which can often lead to new ideas.
What are you currently working on in your own art?
I have been taking mixed media samples left over from one of my classes, cutting them up and sewing them together to use as a base fabric to paint imagery on top of.
Where is your art currently being exhibited?
My house, lol. I am not the best about regularly entering exhibits.
Is your work represented in galleries?
I haven’t pursued working with galleries, my focus for the last several years has been on teaching.
What is your favorite art quote?
I love this quote by writer Neil Gaiman, it applies to every creative pursuit:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
Describe your studio.
It’s a good sized room off the back of the house with a 4’ x 8’ table in the center that my 25 year old Pfaff sits in. My daughter usually sews on my Bernina 1630. I have old school lockers that I keep my batting and bulky supplies in, flat files from my days as a graphic designer, several large shelving units, and cupboards, an old dresser to hold my hand dyed fabric and a few small filing cabinets.
Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.
Paint: acrylic inks and Setacolor textile paints
High thread count white cotton fabric
A mechanical pencil
A camera (usually my phone now)
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