In January of this year I began a six week watercolor class at Shelburne Craft School on Thursday evenings from 6p.m. to 8p.m. Classes will continue throughout the spring and summer months so check my website for times and dates or click on the following link: http://theshelburnecraftschool.org/news/projects/watercolor-skills-simplified/
The first class starts with asking each student to share a story about themselves and their painting background. I love this part of the class because it is where I get my first impressions of each student. Listening carefully I can begin to see how I can help each one get the most out of our six weeks. Some have never painted before and look forward to learning how to master the paintbrush with new ideas, some students enjoy painting after a long day at work. My class is prepared for everyone to learn. Class size is small and I use a mix of class demonstrations with group and individual instruction as needed. Everyone is encouraged to do lots of painting at home so I often give homework and we do a group critique the following week. In class, we work with photographs and diagrams that are designed to feature a specific technique that we work on that day. Here is a sample: Shelburne Barn Lesson Plan Winter 2016
Watercolor painting seems to appeal and awaken something in us. Maybe its the loose watery transparency of the medium which is like looking at the calming effects of water itself? Or the way transparency itself lets us take a layered look. I like these qualities of watercolor and strive to bring the special painting characteristics of watercolor into my classes so students can understand how to control the fluid nature of the medium.
As much as possible, I use Vermont images because I think our state has an abundant amount of environmental beauty. This is what drives me to paint and I enjoy developing my lesson plans around our buildings and landscapes, the flora and fauna that grows in our deep woods and our running brooks and lakes that reflect wonder. Learning to observe, composing our thoughts and attempting to bring light to our vision, is the challenge of an artist and I can’t think of a better platform for subject matter than our local landscapes.
Below is a sample of my current work called Backyard Stream Series: