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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

One Thing Leading to Another...

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

“That's what I love about reading:

one tiny thing will interest you in a book,

and that tiny thing will lead you to another book,

and another bit there will lead you onto a third book.

It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight,

and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”

Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

I think the same thing can be said of art. One thing leads to another. Some of our Monday artists have been with me for years. I've seen what interests them change over time. The artist below latched on to chalk-pastels like a dog with a bone. Lately, her subject has been her great-granddaughter. The challenge for today was to get the wispy hairs the right colour. Sharp pencils are needed for hair so fine.

When you first start exploring a new medium, there are so many options. Do I paint loosely? Or tightly, or a combination of the two? What subject interest me? Large format, or tiny paintings? The artist below is zeroing in on what works for her and interests her. Next week, we will explore painting buildings in a line and wash .... a combination of outlines done with fine markers and washes of watercolours. I've used this method in the past and never knew the name: line and wash. Thank goodness I have students to learn from!

Well, the eggs are done! Today, this artist showed me her dozens and dozens of reference photos for future paintings. Mostly photos of .............. eggs. I can relate. I think I've done 5 or 6 paintings that include hundreds of blades of grass. Sometimes, there is something comforting about really exploring a technique or subject for a while. She's also saved dozens of reference pictures of agave plants and turkey tail mushrooms. We'll see what she draws at home for next week's painting.

Oh, the suspense in art class! Tune in next week to find out what she chose.

No matter what subject matter the artist below paints, her results always look like oil paintings. She can make watercolours look like oil paintings. She can make chalk pastels look like oil paintings. One thing leads to another for subject matter, but her style remains constant. And beautiful.

The artist below started out painting in watercolours. She credits her switch to chalk-pastels to hearing the chalk-pastel artists discussing techniques and paper qualities, etc. Switching mediums was one thing. But, she also switched subject matter: miners. How wonderful!!!!

Do you see the embers in his pipe? They will be the only colour in this painting.

I am guessing each of these Monday afternoon artists would agree with the quote below:

“I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.”

Carl Sandburg

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