Sunday, August 23, 2009

Teaching a class

Well, it's official. I am teaching a beginner watercolor class as part of a women's art and craft retreat at Camp Pinnacle sponsored by the Hardy County Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS), an affiliate of the West Virginia University Extension Service. The retreat begins Friday evening, Oct. 2, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 4.

Here's the description of my class, from the retreat information form:

Watercolor Painting - Students will learn about watercolor painting materials and techniques for applying paint to paper. Using these basics, students will complete a small landscape. Once familiar with tools and techniques, students will then learn about mixing colors, with another small landscape as an end result. If time permits, we'll finish up with a small floral painting which will incorporate all the class lessons.

I'm nervous about teaching a class to adults, but I'm telling myself that my class with teenagers last summer at 4-H camp went well, and that this class should follow the same pattern.

My qualifications, for anyone interested in taking the class? I am mostly self-taught, but have years of experience with watercolor, having been painting almost exclusively with the medium for about 18 years. I have taken workshops with skilled painters, including Kay Gillispie of Elkins/Arborvale, W.Va., Ron Thurston (AWS) of Pittsburgh, Vivian Ripley of Columbus, Ohio, Catherine Hillis of Purcellville, Va., and most recently Lynn Ferris of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

I am an affiliate artist with the David L. Dickirson Gallery at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia in Beckley, W.Va.

As for my subjects, I am interested in realistic scenes, mostly landscapes and some florals, and the interplay of light and shadow is what attracts me to painting.

I want to stress that this class is for beginners. I want to teach participants about watercolor tools, how to select brushes, papers, and paints, and other necessary items, like tapes and boards.

Then I will go over paint applications, then discuss color mixing.

I provide all materials for the class. I just need six enthusiastic students.

To see my work, or to download a registration form for the retreat, go to my Web site:

Other classes at the retreat include knitting, tapestry weaving, flower arranging, chair caning and more! A range of lodging options is offered, and costs are very economical. Full lodging and all meals costs $75.00, and cheaper options, including half-day classes, are available. All the classes have a small materials fee (my fee is $11, which covers the costs of paper, paint, etc.)

Camp Pinnacle is just west of Wardensville. From Wardensville, traveling west, turn right onto Pinnacle Drive about 1 1/4 mile after the 4-lane section of W.Va. 55 (Corridor H) begins.

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