I took a watercolour painting class on Saturday afternoon. It was taught by the artist Kathryn McHolm, who had hosted the "In the Garden" event I attended in July. Not only is she a very talented gardener, with beautiful blooms to prove it (see photo, right), she is also an accomplished watercolourist.
I, on the other hand, am not. At least, not yet and not likely ever, based on this first lesson. I have a feeling that in the end, I will do better to try to capture what I see by camera rather than by paintbrush. And that's okay, it was a very pleasant experience regardless. We started off in Kathryn's studio, which I deeply covet, it is situated in a lovely little old barn at the back of her garden. Then we took our lawn chairs and headed across the road to her brother's farm, where we set up on a ridge overlooking a vast expanse of countryside and settled down to paint the view. Here is a picture of us getting our chairs organized. You can get an idea from this photo of the weather and the landscape we had to work with.
It was a very grey and cloudy vista to begin with but the longer we sat there, the more the weather cleared up, although it was quite windy and several times, my paint and/or my picture got blown over. I guess that is just one of the hazards of working outdoors. I can see why people enjoy the act of painting though, it was very relaxing and so nice to spend a few hours outside in the warm, fresh air.
Kathryn's sister, Lois, painted a picture of two rusty, old trucks that were sitting in a nearby shed. Here's what they looked like:
and here's Lois' painting which she very kindly let me take a photo of - isn't it wonderful? I especially like the colours she used.
We are planning to have another session sometime in September. I'd like to learn a bit more about mixing colours, getting the right combination to create the shade you are looking for. I know the basics of red plus yellow equals orange, blue plus red equals purple, etc. but somehow in the end, I usually end up with brown. I found the greens we needed to use for this landscape to be especially hard to create, so it would be nice to know how to mix the paint to get the right colours. In the meantime, I know learning any new skill takes practice and I shall play with my paints and just have fun with them.
Here is Kathryn's website, if you'd like more information on her work or her workshops:
http://www3.sympatico.ca/kathrynsgarden/main.htm. If you're in the Port Hope area on the weekend of September 12th and 13th, she'll be taking part in the Northumberland Hills Studio Tour - I highly recommend that you stop by to enjoy both her art and her garden.