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April: Latest Happenings

Hi everyone! Are you enjoying all the bright yellow green new growth on trees and flowers getting ready to bloom? I am. Spring is coming, and for us desert dwellers, it’s an especially sweet season as we know it will end much too quickly. My first rose is blooming from the pruning I did back in January, new fig buds have sprouted on my baby tree, and the lantanas are starting to grow back from being pruned back all the way to the ground.

a rose bush with a yellow rose starting to bloom
isn't she cute?

March was a great month and I hosted two art workshops. The first was for the teenage patrons at Sahara West Library, which was a fashion illustration and watercolor workshop. Something that always surprises me about younger teens is just how bold and unapologetic they are about their art, pushing the boundaries of what they are told and surprising us. We printed out photos of models in dynamic poses and colorful clothes as reference images.

a table full of photos, paint palettes, swatches, and illustrations
the teens' wonderful art

a group of teenagers drawing by tracing on a big, bright window with an instructor behind them.
me with the teens, tracing on a window

I was also asked to host a fun, low-stakes art workshop at UNLV through their Rebels Rise program, which is a special program designed specifically for sophomore students. Sophomore year is a tough one— I remember trying out many identities and always feeling stressed and busy. I knew I wanted to incorporate mindfulness and the flow state into the workshop, where they could relax and drop into the therapeutic benefits of putting paint on paper, rather than following a step-by-step tutorial.

And that is how Unwind with Watercolor was born!

vibrant rainbow from mixing just 3 colors

Painting geometric abstracts with watercolor is a straight shot into experiencing the flow state, feeling in the zone even while there are distractions around you. Watercolor’s very nature is to flow and dance, and patterns like grids and spirals give you just enough structure to be able to let your alert mind take a break. We made it fun— Cheetos and ginger ale, Mac Miller and K-pop, and lots of conversations about this and that.

some of the participants
happy artists

my monochrome grid example for the class

Materials Used:

  • Watercolor paper (Pacon UCreate 140lb, Arches cold pressed 140lb)

  • Watercolor paints for a vivid, bright color palette. These colors work AMAZINGLY together

  • naples yellow (Winsor & Newton)

  • opera pink (Holbein)

  • cobalt turquoise light (Winsor & Newton)

  • manganese blue nova (Holbein)

  • Size 8 round brushes, good for both thin and thick brush strokes

  • Pencils, for drawing faint grid lines to preserve space between the squares

My next post will be a video tutorial for this, so stay tuned!

I am hosting this workshop again at Enterprise Library at 5:30 PM on April 26, 2023, which is a Wednesday, as a part of the Library District’s “Customer Appreciation Day.” It’s free, open to the public, and first come first served. Hope you can make it!

Two of my recent pieces featuring this geometric abstract theme is currently showing at the Government Center Rotunda Gallery as a part of their Mosaics exhibition that runs until April 28th. If you go see it, take a picture and let me know!

close up of my piece "swimming" currently on display

Thanks for reading! I appreciate you being here. Next time, I will be back with a meditative grid painting video for you to follow along. Comment or reply with your personal favorite colors— I might use them for the tutorial :)


April 2023

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