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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Going with the Flow

We are all learning as we go in the Monday afternoon class. The artist below has painted many finely detailed artworks in the past 10 years. She's painted every doggone feather of a wild turkey, complicated lichens and underwater plant life, British seascapes and bold Greek landscapes. All of those sound, and were, very challenging. She succeeded beautifully in each one of them. These days she has a new challenge: declining eyesight. New learning is happening, learning to accept that she can't see the details, but still can produce great art. Yesterday, she marvelled in her "looseness", a goal she's had all these years but never achieved...... until yesterday.

I love the soft look of the leaves she's painted.

I feel like I've done my job when my artists run with what they have learned and start to paint on their own at home. Look at that blue/pink background! Stunning! Some folks in her family will be getting beautiful Christmas cards this year.

The artist below is completely new to using chalk-pastels. As you can see, she is not new to drawing and figuring out colours. She's learning that you can layer colours on top of each other and if you press hard, like an 8-year old, you will get intensity of colour. There's nothing like trying something completely new to stimulate the brain and bring joy.

Going With the Flow. Not knowing much about how watercolours are typically used, the artist below purchased a canvas! at the local dollar store. She's using Russian made Yarka paints. We've been going with the flow as she explores painting on a canvas. Positive: you can wipe off your mistakes fairly easily. Negative: who knows how long the paints will stay on the canvas? Not only is she learning to paint with watercolours on canvas, she is learning to draw too! Next time you see this painting, the roof tiles will have the proper angle. As the class was coming to an end, she was busy washing out the vertical lines of the roof tiles and putting in diagonal ones. How wonderful!

And, those Yarka paints? Great density of colour for the price.

Back to our penguin-painting artist. She's prolific.

I never would have guessed that a Bruce Lee quote would end an art post, but here goes:

“Be like water making its way through cracks.

Do not be assertive,

but adjust to the object,

and you shall find a way around or through it.

If nothing within you stays rigid,

outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind,

be formless.


like water.

If you put water into a cup,

it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle.

You put it in a teapot,

it becomes the teapot.

Now, water can flow or it can crash.

Be water, my friend.”

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