The second day of the Dyan Newton Watercolor Workshop felt a little bit easier but it was still a bit of an artistic stretch for my friends and me. This workshop and retreat was the perfect birthday present for the three of us. We stood around Dyan’s table. As we watched her paint, we quickly scribbled notes in our art journals, on the sketches, and on dabble paper in hopes that we would remember by the time got back to our paintings.
EAT, SLEEP, PAINT, REPEAT!
I purchased the 3 of us t-shirts from Amazon.
This is pretty much us. Click the image above for the link.
Dyan put all of the student’s names in a container and would randomly draw a name. We were allowed to select a print of her artwork. When I spotted the image below, I knew it was the perfect piece. Look at those three friends!!! It’s called “The Gossip Girls Out On The Town”. We are girls, we love painting, shopping and eating!!! Gossip is not really our thing. Jesus, family, art, and politics usually dominates our conversations.
The chapel below was our Day 2 project. Take a deep breath! We can do this!
It was time to wet our palettes. The palettes that Dyan recommended had generous wells for the paint and large mixing areas. The watercolors are mostly Daniel Smith watercolors. They are vibrant, professional grade watercolors. The classes were 3 intense hours long. It was intense mostly because Dyan’s techniques and color mixing is different from what each of us normally use.
I am not a watercolor workshop junkie. But once a year I like to participate in a workshop. The challenge of trying a different style keeps it interesting and I always learn something new. This was the first time that I didn’t take a class from a different artist. Several years ago I took one of Dyan’s workshops and I thought my friends would enjoy the experience of one of her workshops and a retreat in the Texas Hill Country.
Dabble Paper with Color Combinations
I decided to make a dabble paper with the color combinations. On my original, I have my color names written on the right and left of the dabble. I have removed it from this photo to protect Dyan’s information. This dabble paper made it so much easier for me to remember which yellows, purples, greens, and blues needed to be mixed to achieve the colors we were after.
At the end of class I was pretty happy with my results, although I could easily pick it apart. I could tell that I struggled with the foreground especially. And some of my darks were not dark enough. This is funny because I am always encouraging my own watercolor students, “Don’t be afraid of the darks”. Darks make the light pop! Years ago I wrote a post about “Shadows, Darkness, and Light” .
I have been teaching watercolor for over 10 years. My first classes were in my own studio and since 2013 I have been teaching art at WTC College on the Square.
Now I have created an ONLINE CLASSROOM FOR BEGINNERS. This is a self paced class using a limited palette. Enrollment for that course will start SOON!!! Be sure and check your emails. More details to come.
Time for Retreat
When we arrived back at our cabin, Betty, our super host informed us that she had a surprise for us. Her son-in-law, Jake came to fetch us. He took the three of us for a ride in his golf cart. We went down the hill and across the highway to another beautiful property. He showed us a honeymoon cottage that he had built and the lake that was being rebuilt. Then he took us a very impressive hacienda style house.
The heavy doors opened up to an inviting entryway that was so beautiful with climbing wisteria vines.
This beautiful sprawling home was built by James Avery for his secretary, Carmen.
This hacienda is 10,000 square feet of Avery influence. There were collections on display: big game heads, woodwork and art.
Jacob and his wife, Kari purchased the estate in 2011. They were so gracious to give us a tour. I asked Betty if this was a perk for all of her guests that stayed in her Airbnb or if it was because we were watercolorist. Indeed, the reason for this special treat was because of the mutual love of watercolor.
The works of art, mostly watercolor, was very impressive. These pieces were not Avery’s collections.
Almost every wall displayed works collected over the years and there was a story connected to each piece.
Often works of art are purchased because the collector loves the art. And then sometimes a painting is acquired because the of the artist. Then there is the sweet spot when the collector loves the art and the artist. I have purchased several pieces for that very reason.
I think my favorite spot was the courtyard with the fountain and the little prayer stations. This was a great way to end a very full day.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17 NIV
’til next time,