Point of View - Wood Neck Beach - Watercolor by Kate Aubrey

Well, it was a heck of a winter, and now summer is sweeping me away!  Taking the winter months to paint and learn turned out to  be exactly the right thing to do despite requests to teach here on Cape Cod.

I started with Mary Moquin’s Master Class. In it she concentrates on helping artists find their “voice”...that is, how to get the emotion into one’s painting in your own exciting, unique way. It was fabulous, and I will be taking it again next fall or winter. It’s definitely worth the drive!

Then I got really lucky. An artist friend had me look up Jeannie McGuire’s incredible figure work. Well, her name sounded familiar, so I looked on the Web, and she was going to teach a workshop nearby. I leapt on that and got in. She was just what I needed. So many things went “click” for me during the workshop!

It turns out that I do a lot better emotion- and composition-wise when I start out with my darks and my main-emotion colors.

“Huh?” you say. The best I can do is examples. For me, cobalt blue usually means peace. When I was preparing to paint “Over the Rainbow”, I realized that I wanted cobalt blue to flow through it from left to right. “Why?” I asked myself while I was totally relaxed, and the words just popped out. “Cobalt blue is peace. I want peace to flow through it like a river.” When I started painting, I put the blue in before anything else, and the rest followed.

It was quite an experience. Give it a try. If you can’t float in your right brain until the answer comes, try writing about your painting-to-be, what it means, why you want to paint it. Write down anything that comes to mind, even gibberish. Eventually, if you write Everything down, the answer will eventually flow out of your pen.

OK, I’m off to prepare to teach my first two-day workshop for the The Falmouth Artists’ Guild. Go paint!


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