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Friday, May 5, 2017

Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens

My daughter and I spent a lovely day in February at Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, PA attending what is billed as their "Orchid Extravaganza" and indeed it is! Some of the most extraordinary orchids I have ever seen grace the rooms of the Conservatory in such creative displays, I am always excited to visit and see what the clever master gardeners have come up with for us to enjoy every year! This year was no exception. I admit to being disappointed when I first walked in to the main entrance hall as I did not see that many orchids in this particular room. But as we proceeded from room to room, it was evident they had many surprises in store for us! My favorite of all was the Silver Garden - mostly desert plants and trees, in that delicious silver gray color. Hanging from the ceiling were colorful orchids in pinks, reds and purples - air plants that did not need pots and with their roots hanging down from the brightly colors flowers, they stood out among the soft green foliage and the effect was simply breathtaking!

Among the orchids, the whites are always my favorites and I always take too many photos! I've included a few here. If you have an opportunity to visit Longwood during the Orchid show next year, don't hesitate. It will truly take your breath away!

I think the photos are self-explanatory so I have not included any captions. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pen and Ink with Watercolor Workshop at Rehoboth Art League: Plants and Flowers

Classroom is set up and ready for students to arrive!
End of Class Group Photo - Happy Students showing their Favorite work of the day!

The second of my two workshops at Rehoboth Art League was held on Saturday, February 25, 2017. This one focused on drawing plants and flowers and, after a morning of drawing and painting exercises they were ready to jump in and capture the essence of the the ones I brought for them to observe. I love these classes! I say this every time, but I am always amazed at what they can accomplish with just a few simple exercises that prove to them they can do it and best of all, that they don't have to be perfect! 

The most important thing you can bring to any class is the desire to do it and it is no different in an art class! I must admit there are some people naturally inclined with some innate, natural born talent, but the truth is not many of my students (if any!) have the goal of becoming the next Picasso and all they want to do is have fun sketching the world around them and making art. 

It can be frustrating to a beginner who never learned how to hold a brush, load it with paint and mix colors so it's good to take workshops like this. I try to impart whatever knowledge I have gained through my years of study and practice. The smiles on their faces and the pride in their work is the greatest reward I am given at the end of a workshop.

Here's my Photo Essay of our Day, with captions as needed. They tried drawing first and then adding watercolor and then, painting first and adding inked lines later. Two ways of doing it and there were probably as many students that preferred one way over the other, but all seemed to enjoy the process!

If an image seems cut off, click on it to view the full photo. 

For a complete list of upcoming workshops, go to my website by clicking here.

Painted first, then added line work

Drawn first, then added watercolor

(same as above, earlier in the process) Drawn first, then adding watercolor to the drawing

Painting first, she added her inked lines later

Watercolor of Pink and Green plant

Working on journals, quietly focused! 

Bottom, sketched with paintbrush,  top drawing the plant first.

So graphic! I believe she draw first and then added watercolor, but can you tell?

Walking around the room, admiring each other's work!

Upside-down Drawing from "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards

Wet on Wet and Wet on Dry exercises with watercolors

Pen and Ink with Watercolor at Rehoboth Art League: Fruit and Vegetables

Rehoboth Art League invited me to do two workshops in the month of February. The First was on  February 11, 2017 - Learning to draw with pen and ink, with a focus on Fruits and Veggies. The second, with a focus on Plants and Flowers. 

The photos that follow were taken during the first workshop. Most of my students are complete beginners, never having done anything like this before or very little. I am always astonished at what they are able to achieve after doing a few simple exercises and playing with colors! I think the photos are self explanatory but have added captions where I felt it was necessary. Enjoy! (Note: if a photo looks cut off, click on it for the full image)

Learning to mix colors using the primaries of red, yellow and blue - especially greens!

Playing with mixing colors in an abstract design.