I have always been more attracted to watercolor paintings than any other medium and vowed to learn how to paint when we moved to Vermont…in 2004. Life and work got in the way and finally in the fall of 2015 I picked up a brush for the first time since 2nd grade. I had no reason to believe that I would have any aptitude for painting. The left side of my brain is strong…the right (creative) side, not so much.
At the recommendation of an acquaintance, I started with a six week beginner class under the guidance of the amazing Lisa Forster Beach of Stowe Vermont. Each week 14 of us newbies met for three hours and Lisa introduced us to the basics of watercolors. She was adamant that our supplies be high quality (one high quality brush is much better than 5 student quality brushes), we be well-organized with notebooks, pencil/brush cases and that we ONLY use the original form of Viva paper towels. I owe much of the success I have had so far to these sage words of wisdom.
Of course, Lisa taught us how to get started painting, but the MOST important thing I got out of those first six lessons was confidence. Lisa promised all of us that we WOULD be able to paint using watercolors and that we would be good. She was honest and said we would find our own style and that we likely wouldn’t be able to paint every style well. But what resonated with me was that I, who had absolutely no artistic ability that I knew of, would become a respectable painter and, most important, I would enjoy the process.
Now, just six months after my first class, I am able to navigate my way through a painting. I am very comfortable with the process and I absolutely LOVE it. I am living proof that Lisa spoke the truth when she said she could teach anyone to paint.
I am proud of the progress I have made. Heck, I am proud that I can paint something that people can actually recognize! I have no drawing skills or talent. While I suspect eventually I will need to develop these skills, for now transfer paper is my new best friend.
I say this simply to encourage anyone who has thought about painting to JUST DO IT!
I want to have a way to view, measure and evaluate my watercolor journey so I am tapping into what I am good at and putting it into a website. This website is for me (and occasionally my friends and family). The only reason I hope others stumble upon this site is so they will be encouraged to pick up a brush.
Here are highlights of my painting training:
Fall 2015 – Series of six 3-hour beginner classes with Lisa Beach in Stowe Vermont
January 2016 – Craftsy class with Kateri Ewing Improve your Paintings: Luminous Watercolor Mixing
January-February 2016 – Craftsy Class with Anna Mason Realistic Watercolors: Step-by-Step
January-March 2016 – Weekly painting session with my friend Dana who was my original inspiration to GET STARTED!
February 2016 – Craftsy Class with Ron Pratt Nature in Watercolor: Painting Trees
March-April 2016 – Six 3-hour classes with Gary Eckhart, Textures in Watercolor Paintings
May-June 2016 – Our original beginner classes with Lisa Beach in Stowe Vermont continue for 6 more weeks