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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Fine Tuning

Our Monday afternoon artists were probably all born within 10 years of each other. I am not good at telling people's age any more. Most of them a little older than I am. I think their age shows in their paintings - in a good way. They paint what has meaning to them. What gives them delight. My role is to help them fine-tune what they've begun so that it will look the way they want it to.

I love how this one turned out. This artist is working on a cork tree that she saw in Portugal. If you look where the number 2 is on the tree's trunk, you will see that the bark has been taken off there. She is painting this one to give to a grandchild. You can almost see the leaves moving, can't you?

Below we have a bold and daring artist. She is experimenting with working on a canvas which has been coated with an "absorbent ground" That turns a canvas into one which will accept watercolours. There is a wonderful artist, Ali Cavanaugh who has spent years understanding this way of painting with watercolours. We got a little inspiration from her work yesterday.

Again, painting a grandchild.

Hard to believe that this is the first watercolour painting this artist has ever done. It will look amazing when the green making tape is removed. This artist was given a set of Daniel Smith watercolours. These paints work with you, not against you.

The rose is finished! Getting the dark shadow on the left dark enough took some time. A lot of paint needed to be mixed, it needed to have the right level of moisture and the paper needed to be the right level of wetness. All of those factors take time to understand. But, the good news is that once you do it, you will never forget. Life gets easier in watercolour world from there on. And, isn't it wonderful when one part of life gets easier.

This will be the last progress post of our interesting gentleman. A combination of two reds (you can see the pencils lying to the right of the painting) were used to add a richer colour to his cheeks. That fine-tuning brought him to life. We couldn't understand a word he said, but he was alive.

Sometimes, it is difficult to know when to stop. There is a fine line between getting all of the details right and going crazy.

Here he is, eye to eye. Doesn't he look like he is coming out of the page? Getting the shadows dark enough was all that it took.

I can't wait to see what these artists come up with next week. Many of them will be starting a whole new painting. And, very soon, some of them won't need me any more.

“If you want to identify me,

ask me not where I live,

or what I like to eat,

or how I comb my hair,

but ask me what I am living for,

in detail,

ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”

Thomas Merton

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