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Teaching Art with Purpose: Inside Kath Macaulay’s Pocket Sketching® Workshop

King Charles of England is an avid outdoor (plein air) sketcher. Documenting a trip through art has been practiced since the Phoenicians. Oil painter William Hodges accompanied Captain Cook on his second voyage in the Pacific to record their voyages. Travel sketching has always been a medium to document journeys and daily life through a personal and artistic lens.

Kath Macaulay, a nationally known artist based in Tucson, Arizona, acknowledges how travel sketching is an immersive way to experience and preserve travel. After all, it encourages one to slow down and observe their surroundings, such as the angle of sunlight or texture of buildings, that might have otherwise escaped one’s notice.

With this, she invented Pocket Sketching®. This quick-draw technique encourages individuals to journal their experiences, capturing what they think they see, not necessarily reality, equipped with only a 4″ x 6″ art pad, a pen, a small paint set, a brush, and a film canister of water that can all be tucked away in a pocket or purse.

When asked about the other benefits of Pocket Sketching®, Kath answered, “It’s fun, totally portable, and requires no cleanup. That’s all that matters in today’s fast-paced life. No one has time to clean brushes and go through the hassle of bringing tons of messy equipment everywhere. With Pocket Sketching®, anyone can sketch whenever and wherever they want.”

Pocket Sketching® is designed to be done in 25 minutes or less, making the art accessible and enjoyable to everyone. Kath emphasizes the importance of focusing on the moment, not only the visual details of what one wants to draw but also the smells, sounds, and overall atmosphere. This approach introduces an immersive and exciting way of seeing the world. Kath stated, “Pocket Sketching® is a tool anyone can use to capture memories beyond what a camera can.”

Kath accidentally discovered Pocket Sketching® during an oil painting trip, “I picked up a Pilot Razor Point pen to write a note, and I noticed that the pen’s lines behaved like India ink but didn’t spill. The line could be used at any time in the future to make a value study and mixed perfectly with watercolor. I realized it’s a perfect introduction to watercolor, and I knew then that I had to teach this technique someday.” It turned out that ‘someday’ became 15 years later once a local newspaper featured Pocket Sketching® with Kath in a full-page article. The immense attention it garnered kickstarted Kath’s workshops. Now, Pocket Sketching® offers workshops tailored to different skill levels and interests. The Basic Workshop welcomes beginners, while the Refresher Workshop caters to those who wish to explore their skills more in-depth.

The Teacher’s Workshop is highly anticipated, as it is designed for individuals who want to become Certified Pocket Sketching® Teachers. Aspiring instructors are welcome to attend the new sessions at the Tucson studio, scheduled on the 10th to 15th of March 2024. The following session will occur from the 25th to the 30th of April.

“I recently had the incredible opportunity to become certified to teach Pocket Sketching® with Kath. Her quick-draw technique encourages professional and new artists to see and experience the world in a whole new way. Her classes, for me personally, got my creative juices flowing.  Now I have the joy of teaching Pocket Sketching to my classes, sharing their delight and I get paid to have fun and purpose.  My motto is “Paint yourself calm”.” states Tiffany Smith, Lubbock, TX, student of Pocket Sketching®.

The training covers artistic technique, teaching, business, and marketing. This curriculum allows participants to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to independently conduct workshops, which, in turn, opens avenues for supplementary or full-time income and social fun with purpose.

“It’s exciting because I can bring to everyone everything I’ve learned for almost two decades of experimenting and teaching Pocket Sketching®. Through the Teacher’s Workshop, people can enjoy the delight of teaching the technique to their students and even family and friends. All these while generating extra income,” Kath dynamically remarked.

Aside from earning income, becoming a Certified Pocket Sketching® Instructor opens doors to referrals through the business’ website, increasing credibility and visibility and attracting students. The workshop is open to artists, educators, art teachers, adult art students, and anyone passionate about art and teaching. Participants can choose whether to teach on-site, online, indoors, or outdoors (anywhere). It is also worth noting that the offerings of Pocket Sketching® ensure opportunities for travel and collaboration with organizations.

Kath shows her commitment to sharing the joy of Pocket Sketching® by showcasing it on public television with four seasons, each consisting of 13 episodes. “I was inspired by Bob Ross’ success. His earnings primarily came from teaching teachers rather than selling paintings,” she shared. Kath, therefore, planned her TV shows meticulously to ensure they became additional valuable resources for potential teachers.

With the Teacher’s Workshop, Kath Macaulay continues her mission of sharing art, opening doors of opportunities, creating a purposeful community, and spreading the joy of teaching Pocket Sketching®. She envisions the brand expanding internationally, reaching diverse cultures and demographics.

Willow by Tiffany Smith, Lubbock, TX, student of Pocket Sketching®

Kath states, “Pocket Sketching is so much fun and easy to learn, I  want it available to everyone. The most efficient way to do this is to teach teachers, as they will have far more exposure than I can have in a lifetime.”

Members of the editorial and news staff of Woman's World were not involved in the creation of this content.

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