Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teaching Again at Art Supply House

I'm offering a 6-week course, perfect for beginning artists just starting to explore watercolor, as well as experienced artists looking to try something different. We'll learn the basics and then move beyond the basics to unlock your creativity.

Making art is as much about self-expression as it is about capturing beauty. In this 6-wk session, I'll provide an exciting variety of project and exercises that will encourage students to loosen up, let go, and experiment with their painting.

6-Week Session: August 7 - September 11 (morning & evening available)

3-Hour Classes: Thursdays, 9 am to 12 noon, or 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Class Location: Art Supply House, #24 Town Plaza, 375-0090

Cost: 3-hr class is $200, for 6-wk session (drop-in fee: $40.)

To register for classes: Call or sign up at Art SupplyHouse, 375-0090; or call me at 259-6456, or e-mail me at

I will still be offering my annual 3-day watercolor workshop at my home and studio, September 14-16.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gardens and Faces

To put it simply, gardens and faces -- that's what inspires me to paint. And so, I paint flowers and portraits. Nothing too profound about that, but there it is. That's where I feel a connection.

I love painting my children and my grandchildren, but I haven't yet gotten around to a self-portrait, even though that seems to be a requirement for any self-respecting portrait artist. When I do, I'm not sure whether I'll give myself a "facelift", like the glamour photographers do with Photoshop, or whether I'll be brutally honest and show every wrinkle and gray hair. Maybe I'll just do a portrait of me as a little girl -- I think I'd be kinder to her.

Even though I'm not much of a gardener -- I blame the deer and the chipmunks for that -- I love flowers! So, I visit the gardens of my friends, and I travel to botanical gardens to take pictures, so I can paint them later in my studio. I just started on 7 new paintings, based on photos from my trip to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. My husband and I went there to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, and we knew it was going to be spectacular, but we were both blown away. What a place -- it was impossible to take a bad picture. Even the fuzzy ones are pretty. It was hard to choose what to paint, because we took about 250 pictures between us -- and, that's from just one garden!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Watercolor Is Permanent!

Watercolor has gotten a bad rap over the years, as not being as permanent as oils. This is just not true -- anymore. It is true that watercolors painted in the 19th century were not lightfast. Many artists, like Paul Cezanne, often painted his beautiful watercolors on inferior paper that discolored, using paint that tended to fade. And many of the oil painters of that time used watercolors only as a sketching medium, so watercolor has gained a reputation of being an inferior medium to oils.

But, paint and paper technologies have come a long way. Now, lightfast watercolors painted on archival papers are as durable as any oil painting on canvas. Daniel Smith, a manufacturer of fine watercolor paints, says they "take lightfastness seriously", and they put pigment information on the labels of their paint tubes (as do most reputable paint manufacturers). The watercolor paints are, in fact, rated for lightfastness. And pigments that in the past have been considered "fugitive", or the least lightfast, like Alizarin Crimson, have been replaced by permanent versions. "Permanent Alizarin Crimson" is rated "excellent" in terms of lightfastness.

So, watercolors ARE permanent -- IF the artists are using lightfast paints on archival paper!