I write to you from the middle of my third week at Cobalt Studios, the premier scene-painting studio of the Northeast. I'm taking part in their 3-week Summer Scene Painting Workshop, and so far the experience has exceeded my expectations on all counts.
There are 10 other students here, and each person has their own little bedroom in the big farmhouse. Mine is called "Too", and handily came with a question on the door to ponder as I exit every day:
Our teachers are Rachel Keebler (one of the two founders of Cobalt) and Kimb Williamson (a Set Designer and Theater Instructor from Arizona). They tag team lessons, dispense jokes-of-the-day, and help us cook dinner.
The studio space is amazing - it's a big warehouse of a building, the open space of which is called the 'deck'. The deck can fit two full sized backdrops for plays spread out on the floor at the same time. There's a big mixing room for paint with two bathtubs for sinks, and hundreds of gallons of paint. Cobalt Studios was designed to not only be a professional scene painting studio but also a school, so everything is designed for a small crowd.
So far my favorite things I've learned have been the many house-made tools they use - bamboo sticks to extend brushes to paint on the ground while standing, giant sticks to draw straight lines, paint bucket carriers... To quote Gary, it's been like "drinking from a fire hose."
This photo below shows one half of the deck.
It may not look it at first glance, but this very organized paint room has a place for everything, and most of those places are even labelled. The house is even better. It's a marvel of communal workspaces.
They keep us busy enough that that's all I can manage to put up for now, but we are doing a big digital photo-swap soon, so expect a bunch of project documentation as well as hiking pictures!