Workshops and Other Events 2014

Date Location/Title  Contact
May 27-30 "Florals"
Chicago Botanic garden, Glencoe, IL
Ratindra Das
June 12-14 "Painting a Personal Reality in Watercolor"
Janesville, WI
608 754 3358
June 17 Book Signing/Demo
Plymouth Art Center, Plymouth, WI
Donna Hahn
June 18-19 "Painting a Personal Reality in Watercolor"
Plymouth Art Center, Plymouth, WI
Donna Hahn
June 26-28 "With an Eye for Design"
Mid Valley Art League, Arcadia, CA
JoAnn Formia
626 797 8562
June 30-July 2 "With an Eye for Design"
Schroeder Studio Gallery, Orange, CA
Judy Schroeder
714 633 0653
Aug 22-24 Painting a Personal Reality in Watercolor"
Positive Strokes, Palatine, IL
Marlene Woods
Sept 12-14 Painting a Personal Reality in Watercolor"
Geneva Lake, Ont, Canada
Central Ontario Art Association
Shanta Ragde
Sept 15-16 Painting a Personal Reality in Watercolor"
Lemonville, Ont, Canada
Toronto Watercolor Association
Pauline Holancin
Oct 15-17 "Findhorn Experience"
Reedsburg, WI
Ratindra Das

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

Personal philosophy and commentary about my workshops

Every artist paints with some personal convictions and philosophy .A painting is a personal reality. Through my teachings I attempt to emphasize some simple truths . Some of these are:

  • there is life beyond perspective. Cézanne didn't care much about it. Accurate drawing does not necessarily make winning watercolors.
  • you do not have to stay within lines. It discourages the inherent fluid and dynamic characteristics of watercolor as a medium.
  • limited palette can produce beautiful paintings .
  • if you relinquish some control watercolor can do wonderful things for you.
  • to make changes is not as difficult as everyone tells you although there are limitations
    stretching paper is an unnecessary step and you don't have to use 200, or 300 pound paper
    sky does not always have to be blue.
  • photographs don't tell lies, they just don't tell the truth.
If any or some of the above  had ever kept you away from painting in watercolor, join the workshop to learn how to beat the clichés which have long been associated with watercolor. You don't have to make swatches to learn about color. Every day you will learn a new approach to a painting. There will be plenty of demonstrations geared for all levels of experience.

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