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.