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Leaving the Known

We "can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown." Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard was a French physiologist. He believed it was more important to experiment than to just observe.

I have experimented with many different media. I have tried to narrow down to watercolor because I have the most experience with it, and I love the watery sea of color that goes all over the paper.

I have experimented with pastels, a long while back. I put them to rest in the attic. Too messy.

"It just isn't my thing,"

I also thought it would take too long to learn something new and I like the familiar.

The last couple of weeks, I have found myself in Carol Strock Wasson's art studio Union City, allowing her to guide me and help me grow artistically. I took my watercolors the first week and when I saw all the pictures other artists were doing, I saw bright pastels and very contented people happily making pictures smacked with vibrant colors. The next time, I went, I decided to stretch myself. It wasn't going to hurt me to do something that was against my own self-imposed limitations.

I selected a photo that I had taken in India last summer.....sheep being led across the mountain road into pasture. It was hard to figure out how to do the colors but I found the pastels it to be fun and flexible. Colors could change in an instant with one stroke and the effects are limitless. Carol knew how to encourage me in my own style. There is no one right or wrong way to express yourself in any type of medium. It is all about being willing to let yourself go.

Soon the group of artists will start doing plein air painting in different sights outside. I'm in for that. I am also finding how much fun it is to paint with others as we all silently concentrate with a word or two well-placed. True joy!

At the end of class, I did a quick, bright as possible study of pansies in a glass that Carol had set up.