|This is Janith's second-ever painting, of tugboat reflections.|
|Lynn managed to find a place to paint where her feet could be in the water. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Coghill.|
My favorite places to paint are harbors. I love boats of all kinds, I love the rise and fall of the tide, I love the work that goes on in them. Set into the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River, Belfast harbor is as lovely as any harbor on the coast. It is Newark to Camden’s Manhattan: it’s more industrial and less gentrified.
|This is Stacey's second-ever painting, of the tugboats themselves. Whew, what a lot of drawing!|
|Marjean ran to the art store and bought herself a palette knife at lunchtime. Since it was new, she used it to cut the cheese before resuming painting.|
But boats are not easy to draw, let alone paint, and I have three absolute beginners in this workshop.
|Brad floating on the dock.|
I have two youngsters with us who are not properly part of the workshop but who are still painting. Here's Ilse amid the foliage. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Coghill.
A man and his son stopped to see Marjean and were dumbfounded when she said it was her second day painting. “She’s a ringer,” said the father. We laughed. Marjean has painted walls and windowsills and furniture, but never a painting.
|And here's Sophia with her grandmother, Virginia. Both girls are great young artists. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Coghill.|
|This is Marjean's second-ever painting, of the boats in the outer harbor.|
But as I told him, painting is a learned process, not some kind of magic trick. If you can break down the process into manageable steps, your students do a lot less fumbling. The process differs in different media, but is remarkably similar in different styles. The same rules apply whether the end result is abstraction or fine detail: if you want the paint to stick and the composition to work, you approach painting in a methodical way.
|Cecilia dealt with the comings and goings of boats by working on two paintings. When one boat disappeared, she picked up the other canvas.. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Coghill.|
|Bernard attempted to recreate his missing boat from memory. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Coghill.|