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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Watercolor Journaling Workshop

End of the day, end of the workshop - Proud Watercolor Journalists!

When Mispillion Art League approached me over a year ago now to teach watercolor journaling, I mustered up my courage and said "Sure! I can do that!" but inside I was pretty anxious about it. I had never taught before and while this is something I have done for years with great enjoyment I wasn't sure I could "teach" it to others. But I pulled out all the books I had used to teach myself and the notes I had taken when I attended my first watercolor journaling class at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix with Scottsdale Artist Heidi Rosner years ago. Since then I have filled many journal pages with my sketches and paintings - in pen an marker, before I moved up to watercolor (even before the Desert Botanical workshop). During the two years Bob and I lived in Italy, I art journaled and painted almost every day, with the finished journals to prove it.

So, getting back to now, since that first watercolor journaling class over a year ago I have given about half a dozen workshops, at Mispillion Art League and Millsboro Art League and discovered I really like doing this!

I'm trying to put together another workshop in November. If you think this is something you'd like to be a part of let me know.

Here are some of the photos of my last workshop - the last session at Abbott's Mill Nature Center

Students looking over my watercolor books

Journaling at Abbott's Mill

Gwen and Pearl carefully observing nature and recording it in their journals

The boardwalk path at Abbott's Mill Nature Center - one of my favorite spots

This class is so much fun! I try to gear the material to the students' levels of experience but mostly they are structured towards beginners and I give them some drawing exercises and color studies, design and composition and an introduction to watercolor. I do some demonstrating and give one-on-one instruction when I bring them outside to try it for themselves. I encourage them to draw, draw, draw and to take classes in drawing and painting.

These photos were taken by Pearl Burbage, one of my journaling students. For our 3rd class we gathered in her wonderful screened-in porch. The weather was grey and damp made better by Pearl's beautiful pots of hot tea and snacks. It was cozy and homey, with so many delightful things inside and out to journal about. A treat for the senses!

Teaching in Pearl's screened-in porch

Vaya sketching the garden outside

Sher and Debbi observing nature from the inside out

Harry and Sharon at the table

Gwen sketching the tea pot

The art of watercolor journaling and the great attraction I believe is the no-stress, no-worry, relaxing aspect of it. Watercolor journaling can be a very private, personal activity or you can go out with a friend(s). The other aspect, the writing aspect is something I believe people who have journaled (the written kind) enjoy too, because it incorporates both the written word, in their own hand and the images. A bit of left brain/right brain activity that is so rewarding. The materials are simple and light and it can be done absolutely anywhere, from your own kitchen table, backyard porch, a moving houseboat or a charming hilltown in Italy! It's just fun to do.

Examples of my own watercolor/ art journaling experiences:

Middle Rock Canyon, Lake Powell watercolor journal entry - literally on a moving houseboat!

Shirley Poppies - I painted these sitting on the brick walk in our front yard in Phoenix, AZ

Painting in the Underground Fortress (the Rocca Paolina) in Perugia, Umbria

Sage journal painting, painted at my kitchen table in Verona

Me, watercolor journaling in Italy - having the best time!

Trip to Yosemite, I painted every day and filled half a journal!

If you think this looks like something you'd like to try, contact your local art league and see if they offer workshops - or come here to Milford and sign up!

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