A vineyard in the Loire Valley of France.

Reconnecting with the Artist Within

A still life assignment in Beginners watercolor class.
A still life assignment in Beginners watercolor class.

Life has a way of getting in the way of doing things that feed the soul. Most of us rarely take the time to just sit and ponder about where our life is heading and what we want from our time left on the planet. When young, this is never an issue because we count on having plenty of time to do what we want with our lives. Years pass, and before you know it, your life has happened.

I have taught adult students for more than 30 years and have found that many people opt to take classes that are creative, such as fine arts, interior design, and writing. I believe that this is their way of reconnecting with the artist within.

Art has often been portrayed as frivolous, so it’s no wonder that creative pursuits were relegated to “when I retire…” I’m no different, although I have a while to go before considering retirement. However I did decide to take art classes offered through the University of Alberta’s visual arts program. I registered for Watercolour Level 1 with Jim Davies, a well known Canadian landscape artist. The still life shown above was one of our assignments. It was painted in our kitchen and features antique books and plate, an old Blue Ribbon tin, a teacup and strawberry-shaped sugar bowl..

Watercolor is a very challenging material because a picture is so easily ruined – it’s not like acrylics or oil paints where you can simply wait for the paint to dry and paint over it. I believe that I have a love-hate relationship with this medium, yet it continues to intrigue me.

A vineyard in the Loire Valley of France.
A vineyard in the Loire Valley of France.

This second image was created in the Level 2 class – taught by watercolorist extraordinaire, Jerry Heine. It was painted from a photograph I took of vineyards in the Loire Valley in France. My husband and I were staying in a chateau not far away.

I have a lot to learn but I find that the hardest thing to do is to carve time out of a busy schedule to actually do it!

So little time, so many things to do. What have you always wanted to find the time to do?


6 thoughts on “Reconnecting with the Artist Within

  1. Hi Johanne,

    I am impressed with your artistic ability! The still lifes are lovely and I hope you continue with your art work.

    I that saw you are giving a talk at ELLA on antiques. I am interested in attending but have to get through their website, first, to become a member…… Cheers, Mary

    1. Thanks Mary. Yes the ELLA courses are wonderful. I attended ELLA’s last year as a participant and was extremely impressed with the event. I’m going to enjoy putting together 15 sessions on antiques. I’ve never been able to share such in-depth information before this. I truly hope to see you there!

  2. Johanne: You definitely have a natural talent for drawing and painting! Your paintings look much more advanced than Beginner levels. They look quite professional. Thank you for sharing. And encouraging us to pursue a creative activity.

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