"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

New watercolor adventure--letter to students

New adventure for me, thanks to friends--teaching a watercolor class this fall.
(I hope I'm better at teaching than at painting.)
Friend Amanda Bleakley, executive director of the Paseo Arts Association thepaseo.org where I'm a board member, broached the idea recently, and I said ok, let's try it...not knowing if anyone would enroll.
Program Director Paige Powell created the promotion on the Paseo web page. https://www.thepaseo.org/paseo-events/watercolor-terry-clark
Seven have enrolled to date--which means "it makes."
So for four Mondays in October and November, I have a new challenge. Now comes the work--to get organized.
As I do that, I'm aware that everything I will bring to these students will be the result of the many watercolor teachers I've had in the past 20+ years, plus my own views: Cletus Smith, Don Nice, Ron Ranson, Connie Seabourn, Don Andrews, Tom Lynch, and lots of online videos and books.
Organization: Here's the letter that the students will get ahead of time.
Watercolor students:

Thank you for enrolling in the Paseo Arts District watercolor class which begins Oct. 21.
     I will soon send a complete supply list, but its not necessary to buy them  until we’ve had our first session and I’ve talked about them.  I will supply some paint, paper and brushes that  evening for our first exercise.
    If you already have watercolor materials, you’re more than welcome to bring them. If you wish to buy anything, the two most important items will be:
·       d’Arches 140 lb. or 300 lb. paper—this is the most expensive item. As my first teacher, Cletus Smith, said, “Good paper can make you look good.” One 22 x 30 sheet will be enough for all four classes. Or you can buy a pad, or block of 9 x 12 size.  
·       Watercolor paint in tubes, not pans. Grumbacher paint is fine—you don’t need to buy expensive Winsor & Newton. Only a few colors are needed: Ultramarine Blue; Alizarin Crimson; Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber; Raw Sienna; Gamboge; Thalo(Phalo) Red and Blue.
·       Hobby Lobby carries these. You might also check Porch School Supply on Santa Fe, just north of 50th street to compare prices
Our first day agenda follows:
·       Introductions
·       Supply list and explanations
·       Discussion and demonstrations, with examples:
1.     Transparency
2.     White
3.     Light to dark
4.     Wet and dry
5.     Composition
6.     Value sketch
7.     Not photography -play with reality
8.     Color-mixing-color wheel
9.     Contrast
10.   Perspective
11.   Graded wash
12.   Tricks--Salt, Spray bottles, slanting
·       Demo-I will paint a small painting as you look on
·       Exercise for you on provided materials to get feel of watercolor
Questions are welcome at any time.  This is a conversation class. You are free to take notes, photos.
It is important that we have fun.

If you wish, Here are  links that will be of help and stimulate your interest.
1.     First, there is a Facebook group, Watercolour Addicts, that I highly recommend. You will see daily watercolor paintings of every skill level and every type from around the world.
2.     A fun and informative site: https://doodlewash.com/
3.     One of the workshops I attended last year in Texas has really influenced me and the site offers lots of ideas: https://www.tomlynch.com/index.cfm
4.     My website shows you some of my paintings: www.tmclarkart.com

No obligation, but for your reading pleasure and leisure, I have written a blog since 2009, and many of the posts are about watercolor. Some of what we cover in class will reflect the ideas and points you’ll find here.

If you are a newcomer to watercolor, you’ve probably heard that it is the most difficult of painting mediums. I will say that I’m always learning about watercolor. Every painting is an education. After my first lesson years ago, I came home and said, “I can’t do this.” Don’t be discouraged with first attempts.

I look forward to meeting you.

Thank you,

Terry Clark

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