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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Variety = Interesting

It would kill me to have to teach a class where everyone paints the same picture. I love walking around our art tables, and witnessing the creativity that comes from each of our artists. They decide what they will paint, how big it will be, what style they will use, what tools, what paints, what paper.... I just need to figure out how to help them meet their goals.


Today, four out of the six artists finished what they were working on.

The artist below used her own photo as reference. (Sorry about my shadow on the painting) I love how she painted the large pine trees. They look like they are moving in the wind.

Our lone chalk-pastel artist began a new painting, a huge challenge - her husband. It's one thing to try and get a likeness of someone you don't know. It's totally another thing trying to paint someone who you see every day. She'll figure it out.

This artist is new to watercolours. She used an image of an oil? acrylic? painting as reference and did a really good job of making the finished product look "painterly". This artist has an idea of what she wants to achieve and in no time at all she figures out how to do it.

Often when viewing paintings, there is one part that stands out to me. In the painting below, I am intrigued with this gentleman's left shoulder - the one on the right side of the page. It looks very three-dimensional and the skin looks alive.

And.... you've seen these eggs before .....

This artist, who is struggling with some vision loss, is slowly working her way around the egg basket and filling in the background grasses/weeds. This painting is going to be wonderful when finished. You may see it a few more times before that happy day.

Pay attention to the little girl's top and skirt. You almost think that if you were to touch them, you would feel the texture of the fabrics.

The artist is rubbing off the hardened masking fluid. It has done its job of protecting the white areas around the stars from being painted.

This post's theme is about variety. Variety makes everything interesting, doesn't it?

“This sentence has five words.

Here are five more words.

Five-word sentences are fine.

But several together become monotonous.

Listen to what is happening.

The writing is getting boring.

The sound of it drones.

It’s like a stuck record.

The ear demands some variety.

Now listen.

I vary the sentence length, and I create music.


The writing sings.

It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony.

I use short sentences.

And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals

–sounds that say listen to this,

it is important.”

Gary Provost

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