I have avoided watercolor for a reason for a long time.
The one and only friend I have that is an artist is a watercolorist. Oddly we are both in the same day job. From our first meeting she picked my brain. She has taken classes from all my favorites. Diane Massey, Mary DeLoyht-Arendt, Lewis Barrett Lehrman, Maxine Johnston, Arne Westerman and.... bow down.... Charles Ried.
So, lucky slob, she has run the school dry.
She also has a real problem (... I am venting here so just listen because you will have my whole motivation if I leap in feet first, in spite of a few other media I am in the middle of......) SHE is having a hard time getting pieces for shows. She always puts NFS on any she enters and has been really bummed if she doesn't get in.
She SELLS EVERYTHING! And I am not talking ebay. She has a very weathy clientelle who are constantly amazed that this wonderful service worker is so talented they buy it the second she shows them.
Still, she picks my brains.
I have entered easily 10 shows last year, and been rejected from over half. BUT GOT IN FOUR. I have wall to wall paintings staked up and am trying to be a professional, finding a gallery or two, making a real repution, trying to establish myself nationally so I present well. You know kids, I was out of the art loop for over 15 YEARS... I have to catch up. She whines when she gets one rejection and when she gets in is SURE she will take a national show.... That is out of two entries.
And still she picks my brains.
For a while she would email me pieces and say "what is wrong with this?" It drove me mad. WHO CARES? You are gonna sell it anyway!!!
... I am composing myself......
So I told her. Mostly I told her she didn't do her homework. That thumbnails should LOOK much like the finished piece, not just exercise...but the saver of my ego would be "But I don't do watercolors" so I could not get involved.
She is trying to get into the National society......again with only 3 pieces in her house to try to enter... but she is trying not to take them in to work because she KNOWS someone will buy them
...where is that grrrr icon.....????
I advised her a year or so ago to make sure the picture inside the frame equalled out to more than half the sale price, for gossake!
So she did....
I loaned her my graphics editing program so I could use her better computer before I upgraded and showed her how to print cards, and she now has a cottage industry....
I FINALLY got fed up last year and did a few watercolors and was really enjoying it until I got good and realized I WAS GOING TO COMPETE WITH HER.
Maybe only in my head... I really didn't want to do that. It was a bad thing...
After that, I gave her the trick to laying out from a photo exactly using the computer, and FINALLY showed her how to overcome her lack of compositional instinct by taking good photos, drawing them up, and then PAINTING THE WHOLE THING UPSIDE DOWN.
So she got really good.
I won a prize at the school LAST year of a $150 scholarship. It is a carrot. None of the classes from the pros are under $400. The locals are $250 and I was going to have to take a week off work and spring for the extra. LUCKILY summer has a few 4 weekers.
She told me she was going to take an anatomy class. She said the instructor was a good teacher, that was on faculty of the college and the community college. So she signed up with another friend. I must tell you I have been avoiding a lot of contact because I get hoarse answering questions, most of which, she just enthusiastically agrees with and rarely has anything to input, disagree with or add....
I got the schedule and the demo picture was very NOT excellent. I told her (mocking? supportive?... no telling which..) she was a better portraitist than this girl. Then went on to read that ONE class was open in a part of my summer schedule that matched. Watercolor. Ted Nuttal. Local boy, nice work. Four sessions, $125. BINGO.
So the next day she says she agrees and wants to jump ship and take the SAME class instead.
So I will be doing watercolor if I live.