This weekend I attended the Watercolor Society of Oregon‘s Spring Convention. It’s been two, full years since we got together, and it was nice to see people again. I’m not great at chatting, but even I enjoyed shooting the breeze with a few people. I chose not to attend Friday night due to work and traffic concerns, and Sunday I decided not to attend because I was feeling more than a little rough from the exertions of the day before. But Saturday was still worth talking about!

The vendor area is always a lot of fun at these conventions. I was strong and didn’t buy any new tools… or paints… or paper, but I did buy a book from Rene Eisenbart and have the honor of getting it inscribed!

That evening, Rene won best in show with her magnificent piece, “Metamorphosis.” Here’s the slide show of the 20 award-winning paintings (including one by my friend Sandra!)

Achieving Depth in Your Watercolors

The first break-out session was with my friend, Sandra Pearce, who gave an excellent lecture and demo on adding depth to your watercolors. She covered perspective, value, color, and edges. I mostly painted while she talked, and unfortunately wasn’t in a good place to stop when the time for exercises came.

After finishing this one, I decided to paint a thumbnail sketch I had hidden in my notebook.

Thumbnail sketch
“Lowland Lookout”

It was a good class: encouraging, thoughtful, and engaging. The handouts are definitely going in my notebook!

Exploring the Figure & Ground Relationship

A few years ago, I took a breakout session from Margaret “Peggy” Stermer-Cox and I loved it, so I was really excited to sign up for Peggy’s class “Exploring the Figure & Ground Relationship.” Peggy turned up in a shirt, thoughtfully ordered by her husband, that’s she’s lucky she left with. I’m absolutely sure I’m not the only one who thought about ways to steal it!

Peggy worked us through a variety of exercises exploring value and complexity.

Then did a third segment on color (specifically the properties of warm and cool).

Like the first workshop, there was time and allowance for sketching, and I made use of the time, working on some ideas for an upcoming painting.

I was so inspired by the end that I really thought I’d work on painting the next day, but as I said, Saturday’s activities caught up with me.