Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's the Chance of a Lifetime...And I'm Taking It!




When I was just a young girl, my dad brought home this book. Instantly, I was in awe of this amazing painter who could create such beautiful, lifelike portraits with what seemed like just an effortless flick of the brush. I pored over the pages and pages of portraits, speechless with admiration.

Then, more than a decade later, my sister-in-law asked me to do a painting of the romantic spot where they got engaged...a small villa outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A little panicked and rusty, I called my dad to see if I could spend a day in his studio, and he pulled out this book. As I carefully watched the way the artist laid down clean washes of mingled color, organizing complex landscapes into patterns of shapes, I regained my confidence, and created this:

For the past ten years I've been painting seriously, sometimes full-time, and taking week-long (or extended) workshops from some of North America's finest watercolorists, including Ted Nuttall, Joseph Stoddard, Carl Purcell, Linda Kemp, Brenda Swenson, and Jean Grastorf. I've bought their books, and frequently demonstrate their techniques in my classes at UVU. Each of them has been amazingly influential, pulling me out of creative ruts, shaping my approach and leading me to exciting discoveries.

But ever since I opened that first book I mentioned (and deeply for the past ten years) I have held out this dream of studying with the master, Charles Reid. He lives on the east coast, and primarily teaches there—and in Europe. His workshops frequently sell out over a year in advance. But this year he's venturing farther west, and I found a workshop within driving distance. Of course, when I inquired, the workshop was full. But they offered to put me on a waiting list. Okay, whatever.

Then earlier this week, they called me to say they had one opening...and they were offering it to me. I was practically giddy. I immediately called my husband, hoping against all hope that he'd at least be willing to consider the idea. Knowing my lifelong dream, how rarely Charles ventures west and how much I idolize him, he didn't even hesitate. He just said, "I think you should do it." (Bless this man!) My amazing dad offered to teach my classes for me next week. (Thank you, Dad!) And so, I'm off!

I feel like a kid at Christmastime waiting for Santa Claus to come. I am DYING over this opportunity of a lifetime to watch him paint, work directly with him, learn from the master. So all next week I will be in a small resort town near Yellowstone, painting every day from 9:30 to 4:30 with the inimitable Charles Reid.

Yay!

31 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Jana, this is so exciting! You deserve it!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Wow, that is very cool. It would be like Kristina getting invited to a conference with David Hasselhoff (just kidding, KP)... she won't see this.

But I'm sincerely excited for you.

Sandy M. said...

How truly wonderful! Have a great week! :)

L.T. Elliot said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'M SO VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! Oh, Charrette! What a wonderful, life-fulfilling opportunity! I cannot wait for you! Have the very best time, ever! (And please, post pictures when you're back!!!!)

Brillig said...

Oh my gosh! How frickin' brackin' cool is that! (I hate the thought of you being away, but that's just my absurd and overwhelmingly selfish side showing through.) I'm so so so excited for you.

And how did I not know your dad's first name till just now (via the link you included)? Nathan's are remarkable people. :-D I love that he's subbing for you.

Can't wait to hear all about your week, dearest. You're a superstar. And, as LT says, post pics upon your return!!!

Luisa Perkins said...

This is the best news ever! I hope you give us very detailed reports of the entire experience. Chance of a lifetime, indeed!

And you are so brilliantly talented. I'm in awe of your work.

InkMom said...

I would buy that watercolor you did of the villa in Mexico.

Seriously.

InkMom said...

And . . . enjoy it! I'm a little jealous, because the only retreat I have to look forward to right now is (sadly) three days in the hospital, one of which will involve labor and delivery, but all of which will decidedly NOT involve putting my other three children to bed.

Congrats, and have a great time. Very, very cool.

The Mom said...

How exciting! A week away from your family, in gorgeous Yellowstone country (especially this time of year!) and doing something you love to do. I can't think of anything better! Have fun!

Marie said...

"Sweeet !!!" I guess that means we postpone for another week. First my tennis, then your art. Oh will we have a lot to talk about! I know you will enjoy and won't want to come back but remember, you earned it -- the blessing from your sacrifices!!!XOX

Eowyn said...

That, my darling Charette, is awesome. Now I understand fully!

I'm still a bit jealous because it is Yellowstone/The Tetons after all. I love it there.

I hope that you have the time of your life!

Kazzy said...

Ooooo, I am so excited for you! I hope you have a fab time and come back ready to watercolor the world. :)

Heather of the EO said...

So happy for you!!!

You're going to have such an amazing time, I just know it!

Tammy Lorna said...

Oh Jana, how wonderful! Have a wonderful time, and we're all looking forward to seeing some of your paintings :)

xo Tammy

LisAway said...

Wow! That is fantastic. Great for you. I just love your paintings. Watercolor is my favorite and you are amazing.

Jo@Mylestones said...

Just stopping over to thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comment. And to say--WOW congratulations on this fantastic opportunity!
I remember seeing the painting you recently did for Heather of the EO. You are one talented lady!

Jo@Mylestones said...

Just stopping over to thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comment. And to say--WOW congratulations on this fantastic opportunity!
I remember seeing the painting you recently did for Heather of the EO. You are one talented lady!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh, boy! I have goosebumps! I am SOOOOO happy and excited for you! Have a wonderful marvelous and terrifically productive time! Love you!

An Ordinary Mom said...

You go girl! I am thrilled that everything fell into place and that your Dad and husband are so supportive in helping you achieve this lifelong dream. I can't wait to see how this artist inspires you!

deb said...

Hooray for you! Enjoy enjoy enjoy.

Heather said...

Wow, Jana, your painting as amazing! How exciting for you!!Have a blast. :)

Barbaloot said...

Wow-that's amazing!!! I hope it's all you dreamed and more. Your painting is awesome as well---I really like it.

Roban said...

How exciting! I know you'll have so much fun. Your work is already gorgeous. I'm in awe of your talent! Have fun!!

abangxxx said...

abangxxx said;
Painting is one skill that i cannot master. Anyway, I'm happy for you. Be patient and enjoy yourself.

DeNae said...

I already think you're brilliant, so I can't WAIT to see what comes out of your brush after this! Have a wonderful time!

Jenny P. said...

Oh. My. Goshhhhhh.
That is so amazingly awesome I can hardly stand it! And what a beautiful place. Mom loved him. I will be jealously thinking of you all week. Can't wait to see what you come back with.
Oh, hey Rosie heard you guys on the radio last week. You're so famous.

Jeanne said...

Jana,

Jeanne said...

I'm so happy for you...you deserve it!

xo

Allison said...

Lucky for you! However, if it hadn't happened this time, you know you can always come out here and stay with me, now that I'm an east coaster. You can paint by day and bake by night! What bliss!!

Lara said...

Your painting of the villa is beautiful! And, after looking at Charles Reid's paintings, I can see why you want to go so badly! What an amazing opportunity! Enjoy it, and I can't wait to come back and see all you learned. :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!