Delphinium beginning to appear during yesterdays workshop
Yesterday I found myself with yet another wonderful group at my watercolour workshop held in the studio at the Market Street Gallery in Alton. There was a terrific atmosphere, brilliant laughter during the session and a feeling of superb focus on achieving results.
As I walked into the gallery I recognised a familiar face. A beautiful person who had been on one of my workshops before. At first I hadn't realised I had painted their dog "Freddie" for my series "How To Paint Dogs in a Loose Style" for the SAA, Society for All Artists Paint Magazine. During this series I painted several pets in a variety of stages and techniques. I know from experience these studies and paintings mean far more to the owner than to anyone else because the emotional connection is there. So I saved every piece and asked the SAA if they could all be given to the SAA members who had sent in photographs of their dogs for the series.
While writing the features I recieved so many gorgeous photographs to choose from for the series and my heart sank knowing I wouldn't have time to paint them all or have room to include every one in a feature. I love my own dogs and I desperately wanted to make as many people as possible happy but it would have been impossible because the number of images coming in was so great.
So I chose what helped to show my style and train of thought when painting a pet and each character selected started to come to life as I worked on them.
The SAA are such a wonderful society and offered to help by providing me with mounts for each complete painting.
It was such a lovely feeling to know that surprises were arriving by post completely out of the blue. Packages containing mounted paintings of each owners lovely dogs. These SAA members just thought they were sending in photographs of their dogs.They had absolutely no idea they would be getting the painting from the magazine as well.
" Freddie" beginning to appear from a wash.
I started recieving really touching emails from the owners thanking me for my gifts. My eyes welled up on several occasions for the love that so obviously poured out of the kindly typed words.
It was only a gesture on my part to thank everyone for sending in such lovely images and enjoying my series. I had aimed to capture expressions or personalities as much as possible rather than just paint a selection of breeds.
Life is funny at times though and actions we take can often lead to beautiful repercussions.
Yesterday as I walked into the studio to set up my workshop I realised I had left my music at home. This is really unusual for me but the calm sounds I always play at some point to help everyone relax was still at home. .
In front of me was this lovely SAA member holding a gift wrapped in silver paper. They handed it to me as a thank you for painting their pet "Freddie" in the series. I felt like a child opening that package and inside was a fantastic CD of my favourite Celtic music. They knew from my previous workshops how much I loved this collection and here was a new CD I had yet to hear. I was thrilled to bits!
This morning I cannot help thinking of such incredible timing.
I never go anywhere without my music.
I use each piece for certain subjects now and timing of brushstrokes to slow or speed artists up in their work. It is part of my programme and it is becoming so popular.
But on this workshop, the only one I had forgotten my music for I was handed new music. Just when I needed it most.
Isn't that incredible?
I always talk about my paintings on my blog but today I cannot help but feel the need to share this thought.
An act of kindness is always repayed by kindness. Like ripples on a pond if you do something wonderful for someone quite often they will do something wonderful for you in return. You never know when this will be but for me yesterday the timing of this lovely gift not only touched my heart but also helped my workshop.
A wonderful day.