Watercolor workshop successful

Published 7:40 pm Monday, April 20, 2009

Susan Berry makes no bones about it.

The one-day watercolor workshop sponsored by the Colley Senior Complex Art Guild and taught by Ann Gilchrist was the most successful workshop the Guild has sponsored in every aspect.

“I say that from the teacher’s ability to teach and the products that came from it,” said Berry, projects chair of the Colley Senior Complex Art Guild. “With workshops, there will usually be several, if not most, of the participants who don’t complete their artwork. But this time, every piece of artwork was signed, sealed and delivered.”

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Gilchrist gave credit to the facts that most of the participants already had honed the basic art skills and that they had all worked together prior to the workshop.

“We had all painted together and I had also taught workshops that they had attended,” she said. “And, too, I added skills. So with past experiences and the introduction of the new skills, everything just gelled.”

Gilchrist said most artists paint or draw on-site or from photographs they have taken or sketches they have made.

“In this seascape workshop, they worked from visual experiences that were guided through the presentation of ideas and the introduction of new skills,” she said. “I chose seascapes because they involve sky, water and earth. I demonstrated the different ways that a sky can look – the different kinds of clouds and colors. We talked about how the water might look – calm, breaking waves, white caps out in the ocean — and the plants and objects along the seashore. Then they were asked to pick and choose what they visualized from their experiences at the seashore.”

Gilchrist said that she never touches other artists’ work.

“I want the artwork to be completely their own and show their own character and personality,” she said. “I think each of the watercolors does exactly that.”

Berry, Frances Davis, Joan Word, Joyce Lee, Linda Dykes, Loretta Mitchell and Delores Dicho weren’t hesitant to use the new skills that Gilchrist introduced.

“They learned to effectively use wax paper, aluminum foil and corrugated cardboard to give texture and interest to their artwork and were please with the effects they got,” Gilchrist said. “I was very pleased with the finished products and the willingness of the artists to try new techniques and incorporate new skills into their work.”

The Colley Complex Art Guild offers many opportunities for those who are interested in all areas of art. Even those who have never picked up a paintbrush are welcome to come and join the fun.

For more information about art classes and workshops at the Colley Senior Complex, call 808-8500.