Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas Inspiration 2015 : Magdalena French

Continuing with my 2015 Christmas Inspiration Theme I would like to share a really lovely email that I received from Australia. Magdalenas' words are so kind that I just had to share them and I am grateful for being given permission to do so. Thank you so much Magdalena. This week my email inbox has been full of amazing messages like this one, and because of them I feel I couldn't ask for more at this time of year. In fact these kind messages make me want to give all the more which I will do on my workshops and art events next year. And my blog of course!


Hello Jean,

My name is Magdalena French and I live in Brisbane, Australia. I have only just begun to learn watercolour painting since February 2015 after having dreamt of taking up watercolour painting for over 25 years. My introduction to Watercolours was unexpectedly very traumatic, where I took a 12 lesson beginners watercolour course only to find out that I was the only person in the class who had never, ever picked up a brush to paint before except to paint my house...

Despite that terrible experience I persevered because I just LOVE the look of watercolour soooooo much and l was seriously desperate to learn. I trawled YouTube at every opportunity I could to try to pick up as many tips and hints as possible so that I could begin to understand the nature of many paintings seemed more or less the same - even the majority of really, really experienced watercolour artists - all their work seemed the same, of course their work looked really pretty, really nice, really accurate and you could tell there was a lot of work, time and energy put into them...but somehow I failed to see anything really special in their work that appealed to me or inspired me.

Then about 6 weeks ago I found YOU...I borrowed your Atmospheric Watercolours DVD through my local watercolour society and I fell in LOVE with your work - the way you paint is exactly what I had been looking for even though I had no idea how to express this until I saw your work - watercolours that were fluid, free, vibrant, subtle and yet so, so gut-wrenchingly expressive. I have since bought all 3 of your books and 3 of your DVDs and every opportunity I get I practice the exercises you recommend. I find that by using your techniques I feel so free to just 'have a go' and think 'so what' if what I do doesn't turn out quite right - I am free to NOT try to create something perfect as through your teachings that burden has lifted greatly from me (I really and truly was traumatised by that first watercolour course as everyone in the class knew, understood and had experience working with watercolours and so they knew exactly what the teacher was talking about and I just fumbled along in the back not having any idea whatsoever how much paint to squeeze out of my tube let alone mix watercolour or know what a 'wash' was...of course everyone in the class reproduced the teachers paintings easily and effortlessly whereas my work looked like that of a 5 year old because I had no idea what I was doing and of course I stupidly compared myself to everyone else and began to doubt that I could possibly ever learn this medium that I love so much...).

I'm sure that never a day goes by where you do not receive emails of gratitude from people all over the world thanking your for your generosity of spirit in sharing and passing on your knowledge of watercolours so freely and willingly, and I very humbly add my name to that growing list. It is not that easy to find people who are willing to share their knowledge to help others, perhaps it's because people with the knowledge aren't very good communicators (as I experienced from my first watercolour teacher), or maybe they are frightened to give away their secrets lest others becomes even better than them - or possibly a combination of the two. In reading your books I was soooooo touched by your generosity of spirit and passion for life and your love of watercolours. Your example impressed upon me so much the importance of sharing and passing on knowledge and experience and I'm sure it is because of your generosity of spirit that you have achieved such great success through your art and such happiness in your life as well. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you from the bottom of my heart as I cannot begin to describe to you the feeling of sheer JOY I get when I look at your work which in turn encourages me to believe that I too, one day, will be able to express myself through watercolours with such freedom, vibrancy and emotion as well.

 I hope your Christmas is filled with Joy and Peace.  
Warmest regards  



Unknown said...

Thats awesome Magdalena. I too like you found Jean's work to be so inspiring and fresh compared to a lot of other watercolourists. I love trying to capture the essence of the chosen subject and letting the paint do the talking. Just like you I have all her books but only 1 dvd. More is l could find them!
Keep up the dream.😊

rigmorgrudd said...

I totaly agree with all that Magdalena French write. I am an old Swedish woman that found a painting in the Nordic Aquarelle Society´s Facebook site with the painting of the sheep. She mentioned your book Atmospeheric Watercolour and fell in love with it. Now I also have all your books and dvds and for the first time I feel free in my painting, even if I there is more practis to do. I started 2000 to have something to escape from my pain, and when I paint I don´t feel the pain. Sorry my English is not so good but I Think you will understand. You Jean Haines have made my Days woth living again. Your Words in your blog and books give me so much hope and joy. Thank you and hope you and all other follower will have a good Christmas.

rigmorgrudd said...

I do agree with all that Magdalena French wrote. I got in contact with the book Atmospheric Watercolour throw a Picture at Nordic Aquarelle Society Facebook site. I fell in love with that way of painting and I also have all your fabolous books and dvds. I started painting to escape from my pain. I am an old Swedish women that have suffered from pain for decades. While I paint I don´t feel the pain. But I started withour drawing skills so I did´t like what I saw. Now I paint for the bin and myself and feel free!!! Thank you Jean Haines your Lovely ways of encourage people are so wonderful. I feel so blessed I found you!!! Thank you and I hope you and other that follow you will have a Merry Christmas!