It was an enjoyable yet extremely humbling experience for me. When I paint, it is very tightly, usually quite planned out, and I guess not very characteristic of watercolor technique. It is my own style, and I enjoy it, but I also want to expand and try other things, and I so love watercolor that actually reflects the medium in its beautiful slapdash-looking swashiness.
Frank works wet, layers his washes, and does just enough but no more to barely indicate what he's painting--a boat, a cow, a taxi, a tree--and yet when he's done, it is arresting, evocative, and looks exactly how he intended it to look. I know (because he said so and also because you can see it in his work) that he has pushed himself hard for years to achieve the ease with which he works; but we all want to think that we can do something once or twice and master it, don't we? Sadly...no.
This is the second of two paintings we worked on for the day. (The first one was too embarrassing to show, and I'm not thrilled with this one either, but this blog is about showing efforts as well as successes, so....) He had a great teaching method--he would demonstrate step one (a graduated wash, for instance), we would return to our desks and execute it, then he would show us step two, and we'd do it, and so on. It was an effective way of learning a lot of information in a short period of time. It was also interesting to watch the other students and see the 10 different renditions that originated from the same source material and instructions.
A well-spent Saturday.