August 6, 2010

The Vacation 4

I was a little nervous in the morning. So many "what if"s: What if there are only professionals there? What if my English is not enough to talk and to understand? What if they do not like me (some crazy Russian moving through the country)? :-).

This nervousness disappeared when Linda (director) and Moe (director's right hand) welcomed me in the art center. The hostesses, teachers and the participants were sooo nice, kind, attentive and generous. I felt that I was at home from the first moment of my workshop. People came up to me, telling about their Russian roots, trips to Russia, doing their best to welcome and relax me.

The four days of the workshop were divided in halves: two days with Steve Rogers "Painting color and light in watercolor" and two days with Janet Rogers "Portrait and figure in watercolor".

There were 8 people in Steve's group. He shared his knowledge of color, a lot of details about his palette, paid huge attention to values. We were looking how he worked, listened to his recommendations and then did our sketches with all new knowledge.

The atmosphere was so creative and the critique so positive and inspiring, that my study gave me all the pleasure and took a lot of my energy.
I never had big illusions about my artists' talent. I adore the process of painting, the joy of creating. And this knowledge helped me to relax, forget the aim for "great result" and get the most of the joy.
"The boats" painting was done on the first day and "The houses" on the second day of the workshop.  I lost the fear of deep color in two days with Steve Roger. Bye-bye, my weak tones, I love the contrasts and start feeling the values. Freedom.

In the first evening in Cuyahoga Falls (Cuyahoga - "crooked river" in Indian)  I walked into the exhibition of old cars from all around the town. I am completely indifferent to old metal helpers. The pleasure to look at people enjoying themselves and their cars was my great reward.

In the second evening my new friend from the workshop took me for the drive around the town, to Amish village and to the Cuyahoga Valley.

Great places, amazing people around me, tolerant, talented, wise and friendly. God-sent situation, we say in Russian.


  1. It's been my experience that artists are very friendly people. I'm glad you enjoyed your experience. I love your loose watercolor. Very nice.

  2. So glad you enjoyed yourself, Irina. Love the pieces that you created and your use of color.

  3. Luscious, juicy colors, Irina! I'm so happy you had such a good time. I had a professor once who said that if you had a room full of people from all over the world, the Russians and the Americans would gravitate toward each other.

  4. So glad you have this positive experience in America! The kayak watercolor is just stunning! Glad you liked my butterfly photograph. Would be a good one for you to paint!

  5. You got really lucky to have found those wonderful people and also an exciting workshop.. your work is very refreshing and pleasing to my eyes :-)

  6. Jean, thank you. Artists are fantastic people! So are my photographers-friends. I am just lucky to meet the right people :-)
    Thank you, Manon!
    Candy, your professor was so right!
    Jan, I am so glad you are reading!
    Padmaja, thank you!

  7. I'm glad that you have found (intense) colors! Isn't it fun to make such bright, colorful works? Good for you!

    Ken B.


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