Today on the Ranch: 04.20.13, Part 2

This afternoon the last group of workshops were held in one three-hour block. So rather than take one full class, I decided to jump around to as many as I could so I could give you a taste of some of the workshops I missed.

I visited Tara McPherson‘s session, “Painting Myths, Monsters and Legends”, first. Since I arrived at the beginning I was there for her full introduction and painting demonstration, which was really interesting to see. The theme of the class was “sweet monsters,” so the goal was to create a painting of a monsterówhich ran the gamut from a gremlin to a space monsterówith some sort of sweet detail.




Here’s two examples of paintings Tara made in previous sessions:


Everyone picked their monsters at random and then got creative with acrylic on masonite.



The other workshops I visited were already in progress, so I didn’t get as much of an in-depth introduction to what they were doing, but everyone sure looked like they were having a great time.

Paul Fucik and Joe Swec‘s sign painting workshop, “Learn and Let Go”, looks like it would have been right up my alleyólots of colorful hand-lettering going on. I’m told that once each participant finished their lettering they cut the pieces up and mixed them up with others’ work to make collages. I, unfortunately, didn’t get to see the result, so if anyone has finished photos of those pieces, send them my way!







Dirk Fowler‘s letterpress workshop, “Print With It!”, also looked awesome. Everyone seemed to be having a great time printing with a huge variety of wood type blocks and all sorts of other materials.







I also got a chance to stop by the Axe Restoration workshop, given by Peter Buchanan-Smith and Nick Zdon†of Best Made Company. It’s definitely a topic that falls way outside of my day-to-day life, but it’s definitely interesting to see how much goes into the process.



For more information,†check out the Design Ranch site.


P.S. Ranchers, if you see yourself (or your work) in any of these pictures and want me to add your name (with a link if you have one!) in a caption, let me know.


  1. Kevin Jones says:

    Aww, tell Tara that I say hello. Its been an age since I've seen her ... such a great talent. - Kevin Jones
  2. Design Work Life » Design Ranch Update: Learn + Let Go says:

    [...] a†post over the week≠end, I†requested that if any≠one had pic≠tures of the fin≠ished pieces from the Learn + Let Go [...]
  3. Alex says:

    Great job covering Design Ranch! Thank You. I have one question though. What was your camera set up? best regards, -alex
  4. Courtney says:

    Hi Alex, Thanks! I actually used my iPhone the entire time. I took a class with Jay Sauceda and from then on used the techniques he taught us. You can read more about what that entailed in this post:
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