8/30/09

'91

In 1991, a little over two years after signing up for beginning watercolor classes, I took a workshop near our hometown with Catherine Wilson Smith, from the Chicago area. The first day, she strongly emphasized the importance of value studies. . .

For all three days of the workshop, I muddled my way though understanding what a value study was, how to make them, and most importantly, how to make them be effective. It's the only workshop I've ever been in where I didn't paint at all.

It was worth the effort that long weekend to begin a journey of understanding composition better. Although I'd earned a degree in Art Education years earlier, I realized that there was a vast world of art design to digest.

This picture (study) was painted soon after the workshop, based directly on one of the value studies I'd slaved over in Catherine's workshop. Just yesterday I discovered a stash of photos of some really early watercolors, so 'look out!' They'll be posted very soon. This was one of them.

"DIANTHUS AND DELPHINIUM" Transparent Watercolor on 140# CP Arches, 10 x 14" COLLECTED

7 comments:

Vicki Greene said...

I always enjoy your work, recent and early. I went to Catherine W. Smith's web site and really enjoyed the visit. Thanks for sharing the info.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Charming piece and, as you say, a lesson in tonal values. I nearly always try to darken my background at the base area in a flower study and, if practical, put the largest bloom towards the bottom to balance the composition. Seems from your workshop it is the right thing to do!! I believe it was Anita who passed on to me the value of printing off a greyscale of a subject to have nearby when painting to help with the tonal values you often miss when viewing the subject in full colour.

rafael pujals said...

I love very very much this one and "visitors" too.
Congratulations

RHCarpenter said...

I really like the looseness of this painting!

Joyfulartist said...

What a lovely painting for having just beginning your adventure with watercolor. I discovered your blog through another one that I follow. I love painting on yupo, too. AND, I too, have a knee replacement(I'm assuming that's what your surgery was???)I must confess that I wasn't motivated to paint much during my recovery. I'm glad you are!

Cindi said...

great reminder sandy.. my teacher is constanly telling me... value is more important than color.. and logically i see that and agree!!... she harps(LOL) all the time on little value studies.. but i want to just paint.. waaaaaaaaaaaa!! guess all you gals are right and i need to get over myself!!! LOL

love the painting, by the way.. great values!!! hope youre feeling lots better

Ginny Stiles said...

Oh Sandy, what a RIOT reading this post. I retired from teaching school in 1999. And the next fall I started beginning watercolor classes. The first workshop that I ever signed up for was Catherine Wilson Smith! I kid you not. I can't remember exactly where her class was held...I think maybe in Janesville, WI where I took several workshops later. And guess what, we learned about VALUE! It is where I got my first Tombow pens for value studies and I've loved them ever since!!! Wow...did that bring back great memories. I had heard that Catherine was not well for awhile but then I saw a painting by her recently so am hoping she is back strong! I liked this painting you did but honey, you have come a long way baby since then!