Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Learning New Tricks

The past two days I've been taking a watercolor class at the NC Arboretum called, "Go With the Flow," instructed by a master watercolor artist, Elizabeth Ellison

Elizabeth Ellison - she reminds me of Joni Mitchell in this photo.
The tuition fees and materials for this workshop were all birthday gifts to me from my husband and children/grandchildren in New Jersey. I'm so lucky for their support and to have made the decision to register now, because it's the last program like this that Elizabeth will do at the Arboretum. The class is chock full of technique and art theory and Elizabeth's demonstrations are both instructive and inspirational. Here is a glimpse of some "sketches" she turned out in class, but I'm not posting any of the work I've done until after we're done.
Joe Pye Weed
Lady Slipper
The Arboretum is already one of my favorite places on the planet and it's fast becoming one of my favorite places to develop new skills. Several years ago I learned silk painting from another wonderful teacher, Jamie Kirkell. Here's a link to the hand-painted silk scarves I completed as a result of his mentoring. They've all been sold or given as gifts.  I also took fabric collage and paper making workshops, and had fun with both those crafts as well.
The Blue Ridge expressed in cloth
I so love to learn something new, but I'm really feeling good about working with water color. It's challenging and satisfying at the same time and easy to clean up - always a plus. Doing the work forces you to become very observant, and to truly "go with the flow" - definitely a reinforcement of my values and beliefs. I'd love to stick with this medium for a while and get really good at it. We shall see if my curious spirit can be contained.

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