Friday, January 23, 2009
Painting with Dad
For Christmas, I gave my dad a gift that he and I could enjoy for years to come -- my personal set of watercolors, some brushes, and a promise to teach him how to use them. I'd given him some leather-bound journals with Arches paper a while back, and once he had the paint set and some Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes he had all he needed to get started. We're beginning with some color gradients and other technique exercises.
It's really been a treat to revisit an old skill and take it from the beginning again. Teaching my dad watercolor gives me a chance to see the art not only through the eyes of the teacher, but also through the eyes of the new artist. Surprisingly, it's the latter perspective that helps me to see new possibilities in painting. In learning any kind of art, one of the challenges is retaining openness and vulnerability, remaining humble before our own aptitude and the nature of the medium we're working with. All of this is to say that even in the short time I've been painting with my dad, I see that somewhere over the past 25 years my skill surpassed that necessary humility. So I'm learning too, and as he and I bond over this holiday gift it's been a bit of a present to myself as well.
Yesterday we took the Castle in the Air spring class mailer to press, and if you're on the mailing list you can expect it in your mailbox within a few weeks. I'll be co-teaching some painting classes, and of course we'll have dozens of other courses in a variety of arts, all taught by the best instructors. I hope to see you in the studio!