I have just finished my third term of Botanical Art. This term I have concentrated on a more complicated picture and trying to conquer my fear of watercolour paint. The plums were fairly easy to complete but the leaves were something else and I can see that there is room for improvement. However, I am pleased that I have managed to learn to control the brush better particularly doing the fine lines on the leaves. I find watercolour, and especially botanical art, so challenging as it is so detailed and my previous endeavours have either been in pencil or pastels and much more exuberant. I have had to reign in my urge to do big and bold and had to learn to control a brush for fine delicate work. My classmates have all been going longer than me so I am the newbie and they have a good laugh at my mutterings when my tutor says I need to do something finely!
Despite the challenge I have really enjoyed the classes this year. I just wouldn’t have the discipline to sit down and do drawing at home, there is always something else to distract me. Plus I do get fustrated quite quickly when I can’t understand how to achieve an effect. My tutor is great, much better than the tutor I had a couple of years ago. He is very clever at seeing what your strengths are and helping you develop those so you have a positive experience. However, he also pushes you to try and conquer the things that challenge you. He is very talented and we are always amused when he sits down to demonstrate something and in 10 minutes creates a stunning image which would take us weeks to do – he finishes and says “Like that” as if its easy!
As I have said I’m the newbie and some of them having been going for quite some time and you can tell; their pictures are stunning. As its the end of the academic year we have had to contribute some work to the end of year exhibition. For me this has been somewhat embarrassing as my pictures look so amateur in comparison to some of the others but my tutor was insistent that everyone has something in the exhibition. It is running at the moment at the local college so I really should go and have a look.
The funniest thing about the class is that whilst it is called Botanical Art our tutor is very laid back and doesnt mind what people paint so there are one or two stalwarts who seem to have a thing about birds – this term we have had chickens and a sparrowhawk which I am sure will confuse people coming to the exhibition but there you go it pays to be different. The classes have been challenging and really taken me out of my comfort zone but I have a real sense of achievement from what I have achieved plus I have met some very people who share my love of the absurd – apparently the giggling has increased since I started the class!
In case you are wondering I am all signed up for next term but it doesn’t start until the end of September but one of the things he is going to show me is how to do fab autumn leaves – can’t wait