I’ve been dragging my butt lately and seven days ago I caught a cold, which gave me a terrific excuse to stay in bed for a few days. But at the end of the week, I heroically dragged said butt up to Bartlett, equipped with plentiful supply of tissues and cold meds, for a two-day workshop on . . . wait for it. . . Watercolor Painting with Byron Carr! Or as he ‘splains it, he’ll “show you how to slop, splash, splatter, scrub and spray your way to a finished painting.”
If anything can shake me out of my slump, will it be messing around in a medium that I cannot get the hang of anyway? What’s to lose?
The class was full at six students, all experienced painters, some actually quite proficient in watercolor but with something to learn about the Byron Carr approach to watercolor. And Byron entertains as well as teaches; he keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.
Nevertheless, all the photos of me seem to catch the serious side, or maybe that is just the struggle of adapting to the watery medium. Come to think of it, we all look very intense and serious.
The Byron Carr process starts out simply enough: pick a photo; crop and apply paint to the photo to create a thumbnail sketch of your planned painting; tape dental floss in an “X” across said photo to create quadrants that help in the transfer of the image; pencil in the big shapes on your 23×30 sheet of heavy-duty watercolor paper (140# Arches for those of you in the know). So far, so good. Then: apply paint. That’s when it gets interesting and frustrating. Byron applies paint, loosely mixed (No homogeneous puddles), then toys with it using sprays and scrubbers. The trick seems to be using just the right amount of water with the paint, either on the paper or thinning the paint on the brush.
Byron paints fast, like a demon possessed, and splashes liberally. Note the plastic sheets covering the walls in the photos above. (The workshop took place in one of the large, handicapped accessible guest rooms of the Bartlett Inn. The innkeepers moved all the bedroom furniture out to make room for our tables, and draped the walls with plastic because they know Byron very well from years of past demonstrations.)
I don’t know enough about WC to distinguish one approach from another, but I knew what we were learning was different from what, for example, Dustan Knight does (she is the only other WC instructor I have been exposed to). Byron told me one of my paintings employed a technique that he does not use, to wit, layering. This one:
I think I was just trying to deploy techniques that work for me as an oil painter. Oil as a medium fits with my talents and intuition, and perhaps WC never will.
At the end, Byron had each painting up to display in his black mat so we could all appreciate what we had accomplished. Here are a few:
Here are photos of both of Sharon’s paintings. She took the pictures as they lay on the floor so I can’t square them up, but you get the idea:
You may have noticed that many of my fellow students obediently followed the master’s footsteps by painting rocks and waterfall, Byron’s specialty.
I took better photos of mine when I got home:
I get to show mine off bigger and in higher resolution because after all, it is my blog! I’m really sorry that I did not have any photos of Marion’s two paintings to display, but here is a photo of Marion herself and I must say, she looks the happiest of the group:
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
at the Hatfield Gallery and the East Colony Fine Art Gallery in Manchester (both are in Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH); at the Gallery at 100 Market Street in Portsmouth; at the Bartlett Inn and Bernerhof Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester; at the Manchester office of Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter; and at her studio by appointment (email: email@example.com).
You may also view paintings with prices and order prints at my Fine Art America page. If the painting you are interested in is not there, or if you prefer to bypass that experience, you may contact me using this feedback form.