Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Day With Kathie George

I write a newsletter for my art teacher, Diane Trierweiler, owner of the Tole Bridge in Norco, CA. It has been a wonderful learning experience in many ways. One of the perks is that I get to find out about the latest materials, books and in this case learn all about visiting teachers.

Saturday I took a class taught by Kathie George, a well regarded artist and teacher both in this country, Canada and Europe. She was going to teach four classes over four days and I was able to attend the one on Saturday... DOORWAY IN FRANCE, a multi-media painting using Golden paints and mediums on Arches watercolor paper. Since I had never used either that brand of paint nor the mediums on paper of all things, I looked forward to learning all about them. As it turned out, I could use them on my own paintings and even some of the crafts I do. Golden is also famous for creating a type of acrylic paint that mimics oil based paints in that it takes several days for it to dry allowing you to come back and work the paint again the next day. It cleans up with water, not Turpenoid! This day, the acrylic paint dried in minutes!

Kathie, like Diane, is a wonderful affirming teacher. You can't help but like her bubbly spirit and the zest she brings working with you. No problem is too great that it can't be fixed. With great patience she worked with us showing a variety of ways to either do or, in some cases correct, a mistake you might have made. I certainly had my share. However, that is why we are learn. I don't think there was a person in the class who didn't learn something new and for me, using these materials opened a whole new range of possibilities.

I had never used crackle medium before and looking at my painting today, a day later, not sure I used it right. Some of the paintings showed quite clearly the effect and I can see a birdhouse or three using something like that soon. You spread it across a surface just like icing a cake. You can guess how many cakes I've done that to hence the lack of success! It gives it another look, one that I am eager to try again. And being an acrylic product it needs only water clean up and dries to a paintable plastic film. 

I clearly see the textured medium on my painting and love the way it gives an old world painterly look to the painting. There is no reason it can't be used on a canvas or wooden surface. Oh, the possibilities.

If you have never taken a class and have always wanted to try, go for it. Find a teacher that creates the type of things you want to do. Paintings, crafts, knitting, whatever. AND don't get discouraged if you fail on the first few tries. I don't even want to discuss my first class series of oil painting. In 14 tries, it was only the last painting, done with a subject no one else would touch, and completed even with the underpainting in 45 minutes that it all came together. I have never looked back. 

Also, never let a teacher discourage you. There are many who might. Keep looking for the teacher who like Diane or Kathie encourage you to try, stretch your abilities after every painting, who help you with suggestions and point out things that will make your projects stronger.

While I will attempt to teach my first class next year in Las Vegas at the Painting Convention, you should realize that every good teacher takes classes from other teachers. A good teacher never stops learning! The same goes for every student. NEVER stop learning.


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