Saturday, 19 April 2014

Don't make me Laugh Please!

Watercolour Demonstratuon from April 2014 Watercolour Workshops

I have had a fabulous two weeks teaching my Hampshire based Watercolour Workshops in UK. It has been  such a inspirational time with ideas continually flowing and incredible art being achieved by many artists attending. I am so impressed by the shared enthusiasm and beautiful work that seems to consistently flow on these events.

Yesterday was the last  day of my two day watercolour course and I offered to demonstrate a puffin. I must confess I cannot remember having ever painted one before but my style lends itself to seeing "colour" as opposed to "subject" so I always find a starting point, which in this case was the eye , and work away from it. A group of artists were behind me,watching me while I worked. We looked at use of colour  and as I imagined the  little character in brilliant sunshine this  effected my initial goal of creaing soft light in the result..

I had painted the eye and formed the back of the head which seemed to flow beautifully.  My little pufin was coming to life magically in front or our eyes. But as I was just about to add the orange beak to the birds' face an artist behind me made the fascinating comment  that "Puffins beaks fall off in Winter". I sat and looked at my beakless demonstration to imagine  large numbers of puffins wandering around "beakless" which made me laugh. I wasn't alone as the whole group erupted into laughter followed by an uncontrollable giggling attack by myself and others.  Tears of laughter were running donw my face at this point which was a fantastic way to close the second day of the course. On a happy high. I did manage to pull myself together enough to complete the demo but the happiness filled the room and it was superb. It reminded me how serious we often are when painting. So much so that the whole joy of creating can sometimes be lost.

Wonderful moments like this that happen on a workshop are unforgettable. I have this awful feeling that if anyone shows me a photograph of a puffin in future it is going to be very hard for me to look at it with a straight face!

As for the demonstration? It was fabulous and I loved  discovering yet another new favourite subject.

I do meet the most amazing people on my courses. I honestly feel its' a privilege to teach as I do. I hope everyone who came to the last two weeks courses has as great a time as I did and feel inspired to continue painting non stop now!


N.B  The 2015 UK workshop dates will be released in October 2014. This information is sent out to everyone on my workshop email list so please be sure you are on it by emailing me on

Places go very quickly and I am often fully booked within such a short space of time for the year ahead. As happened when the 2014 dates were released.


Anonymous said...

I so enjoy your loose, energetic style and thanks so much for sharing the puffin story :).
Stay inspired!

Phill Dresser said...

Hi Jean,

Glad you tried the Puffin. Looks good!


Phill Dresser