Watercolor Workshop at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe**
The most distinctive characteristic of the medium of watercolor is its ability to move and change color after its application to the paper. While some watercolorists nurture this creative virtue, others attempt to prevent it. This workshop is designed to focus on that most wonderful, almost life- like virtue of the medium; its ability to contribute to its own success by doing something the artist had not planned nor anticipated. Wondrously beautiful images can manifest when the artist allows and indeed, invites the unplanned and the unexpected to happen. The ability to direct the action, without rigid control or predetermined outcome is a mindset capable of producing vibrantly beautiful paintings. The emphasis will be on the wet into wet technique, encouraging and fostering so called “accidents” to happen. You will become a partner with the medium rather than an iron-fisted dictator. The creativity happens during the painting process. It is complete when you recognize it to be so (maybe).
The work is a personal ‘voyage’, employing an ongoing and evolving “dialogue” with the painting. What the medium says to you at any given moment may completely alter the evolution of the work. You shall be encouraged to respond to the image as much with instinct and intuition as with intellect and experience. The final pieces will be the result of a collaborative effort between you and the medium. Good art is more than just recording the image in front of you. The goal of this workshop will be to capture and express in watercolors our feelings, impressions and emotions relating to our surroundings. Day one, we will produce a recognizable image. Using wet into wet techniques, movement and mixing of colors on the paper will be the priority. In the succeeding days we will progress towards releasing you from your need to see something recognizable in your work. Inspired by the garden environment, the focus shall increasingly become color and composition for their own sake. We will work towards expressing the spirit of our surroundings without creating literal images. Success is not guaranteed but the effort will affect your future approach to painting. The painting of external, literal images is a step on the path leading to the ability to paint our inner, subjective realization of beauty. Beauty is a perception. It needs not to be an image of something clearly recognizable.
There is no admission fee to the Botanic Gardens however there is a $13.00 (2009) fee for parking per day for non members. (please check for current fee). If you can carpool with others in the workshop, your group could save.. You might consider subscribing to a year membership to the gardens. There is no parking fee for the members. Parking is also free if you have membership with Morton Arboretum.
** This workshop has no affiliation with other classes or workshops offered by the Chicago Botanic Garden