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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Watercolor classes back in session

It felt really good getting back into watercolor mode with my Monday class yesterday. We have a full class of 25, mostly returning students and a few new folks who have painted before. I turned the "oldtimers" loose to paint while I did a brief orientation for the new people. I told them that next week we would "do windows" and I wondered why everyone laughed. I meant "paint windows." I don't "do" windows any more than I have to. Except for Windows XP.

Critique was illuminating. Sylvia put up her best painting ever--a beautiful little church in the Tennessee woods, looking across an old cemetery next to it. Her treatment of the dappled shadows of trees on the sides of the building were marvelous. Linda also showed one of her best. She's ambidextrous and works with both hands. She did a beach scene that was beautifully transparent and showed no signs of overworking. Don painted two little goldfinches on flowered branches. He's good with the birds and wildlife and is learning to pick out a "catch-light" to make the eyes look more lively. Nearly everyone put something up for critique. It pleases me to say that they are all moving forward. In a month I'll be starting a beginners' class for eight weeks. I love getting people hooked on watercolor.

Of course, I showed them The New Creative Artist and, as you might expect, they were more than kind with their comments. What I've noticed when I show this book is different from the reaction to the first book, which was in print for sixteen years. People looked at the original Creative Artist and often said something about not being creative or wishing they had talent. Of course, the object of the book is to debunk those myths. But when people look at The New Creative Artist they seem more likely to say, "I think I could do that." Or "That looks like it would be fun to try." Bingo! Just what I was looking for when I wrote it!

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