Monday, July 6, 2009


Well, I think I've recovered from my week at Convention. Of course, I thought I'd recovered the Tuesday I got back, then I remembered the scheduled 3 day painting seminar for that weekend.

What was I thinking?!

The few days back home were spent doing laundry and unpacking and sleeping and... just generally getting back to "real life", lol. Then Friday arrived with the shrill sound of the alarm clock. Reality check. Time to get moving.

Thank goodness the piece we had chosen was just one to make you smile and relax and just plain enjoy. There were only a 1/2 dozen of us but we'd decided to run the class anyway as it wouldn't save to cancel hotels etc. for the teacher. We painted with Sharon McNamara Black and she is an absolute gem. Friendly, knowledgeable, sharing and just a really good, relaxed teacher.

Friday's piece was a witch candy dish (or paint it on a surface of your choice - makes a great floor mat or wall hanging). It was titled Neighbourhood Boo-tification and the witch, appropriately, was painting. A lot of dry-brushing with a tooth filbert (heavier bodied than most of the filbert rakes/wisks or combs we generally use for our animals) and wonderful, bright colours. A piece and a day to make you smile.

Saturday was a beautiful Siberian Iris that Sharon had just designed. It was painted mostly with a filbert wave brush. This was a new-to-me method and I enjoyed playing with the brush and the gel medium. Unfortunately, my surface wasn't behaving so I had to stop about 1/2 way through. Not sure if it was the surface or the cure time for the basecoat (thrown together the night before, lol - need you ask?), but despite protecting layers with glazing medium, my paint kept pulling off. No... it was NOT the operator! We made sure to determine that and Sharon assured me this was not the case . I will either finish or re-do the piece as it is truly lovely.

Saturday night a small group of us took Sharon and her husband, Marty, to dinner. We went to a Chinese Food Buffet. The company, food and conversation were terrific and it was a great end to the day.

The alarm on Sunday morning was much too shrill. Argh. One more day. I'm s'posed to be enjoying, but at this point, I have to honestly tell you I was just going through the motions.

The piece chosen was a beautiful landscape titled "Wishin' for Rain". I think, in hindsight, this piece should probably have been done on the first day when everyone would be fresh (sometimes, it's only perception; however, even if you haven't been painting the full seminar, the last day always seems to be the toughest). I think, also, we hadn't properly prepared our registrants that these were "technique" workshops. All three days were totally different techniques and some that many of our members had never attempted before.

So... the piece. A LOT of blending and layering; glazing and more blending and layering of colours to get the different meadows/fields/paths, skies and clouds. Whew, so many colours, so much blending. I was actually enjoying the process as I knew this was the main part of the piece and the addition of trees, croft, fence, paths and bushes was really just the "icing". I think I was probably just in the "zone", lol. Unfortunately, I heard disturbed rumblings of discontent that through a damper on my putzing enjoyment. Many were just not "getting it" and having trouble and not seeing "an end in sight" or a reason. I felt bad for the teacher and for us/them. Not much to do but soldier on and keep a bright, tired face (think that's an oxymoron, but I did try). I mostly completed my piece and really enjoyed, believe it or not. Another UFO (unfinished object, lol) to be completed.

Sharon invited my husband and I to dinner with Marty and her, but I begged off. Was sooooo tired and Dan was feeling poorly; plus I really wanted to run by my Mom's and wish her a very Happy, but belated, 70th birthday (was the day before - she knew about my painting seminar and hadn't wanted a big "do", so I'd already cleared it with her, lol).

The following week was spent in bed recuperating from the big trip + the seminar - at least the first couple days. Then reality check as I played catch-up with hearth and home.

~ Shelley

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