A little background would help. My father was an engineer but he was an excellent painter and all the art in our home was his work. I grew up watching him for hours as he sketches… and as a kid 5 yrs and 9 yrs old, I did not appreciate the long time it took for him to finish a painting… I guess with maturity comes patience. However, I really did love all these bright colors on his palette, and his wide collection of brushes. To my dad’s school of thought, I could not start painting till I learned how to draw… I didn’t see the connection, I just wanted to paint, and his agonizing efforts to teach me to draw first, left me just dreaming instead of taking advantage and learning from him.
Today, I have a room full of blank canvases, a ton of water color paints, acrylic paints, all the brushes that any artist would need and over 20 frames ready for a finished art. But I only have three attempts to my name. I’ve taken a class, but I really did not care for my instructer or for her style of painting. So I am still were I started with nothing.
Naples has a annual event “Third on Canvas” – that is the famous Third Street South – you can’t visit Naples without going out to dinner or some shopping on Third St S. – The event is for two days – 40 artists, taking different spots around Third St… you can watch them create their masterpieces from start to finish… When the art is completed, they frame it and it goes to auction which is scheduled for this Sunday. Because of work commitments, I’ve always missed the event. This Monday and Tuesday, I decided last minute to take the day off and go enjoy. We walked by all the artists, till I found Kathryn McMahon. She had decided to go off to the beach, set up on the sand, next to the Naples Pier! what an inspiring setting. Though I was only kidding when I told her, I’d come the next day with my easel and canvas to join her, she actually encouraged me to do it. I couldn’t believe an aclaimed artist would want the distraction of this wanna be, while painting for the auction – an upscale event that takes place at Port Royal Club, with a $250.00 per couple ticket price.
With heart beating at full speed, I spent the evening packing my easel, canvas, deciding on the colors, brushes, water bottle, etc. no need to make a fool of myself and the idea of borrowing anything I am missed would be out of the question.
She was actually happy to see me when I showed up. While working on her canvas, she kept an eye on me… making comments on where to start, how I was holding my brush, which direction the strokes would go, reminding me where the light is so I know where the shadows are, and on and on. Since the subject for my painting was inspired from one of hers, she was actually that generous to offer to have her artwork close to mine as a reference to go by. No words would describe how I felt. Though my piece is not complete yet, I’ll keep in mind what she told me to do to finish it. Kathryn is just an exceptional artist and instructor. No question will look forward to attending her workshops.
My first official painting!!
Some of the Artists at work
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