Tuesday through Thursday last week were devoted to a 3-day watercolor workshop instructed by Kay Barnes. Entitled “Saturated Paper” the course objective was to get you “loose and spontaneous”. (I am talking about watercolor, remember.) After designing and planning the painting, this approach gives the artist freedom when it comes to handling really wet paper and making corrections during the process. This is accomplished by making dense puddles of paint with a wet brush to wet paper, making the paint run and move. Exactly what I needed to get me away from the tight and contrived painting I was producing. We tackled the subject of koi fish using explosive color combinations. For a first try, I think my painting turned out pretty nice (see photo).
The workshop was held in the Straitside Studio a few miles from home. The studio was once an indoor swimming pool—the owners filled in the pool and remodeled the space into a light and airy retreat. Expansive windows open to a view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Besides the occasional workshop, a small group of artists living on the North Olympic peninsula who share a common love of the watercolor meet once a week to share ideas, tips, techniques and constructive critiques.
I am signing up for another workshop to be held in September. This one concentrates on reflective light.