Updated Fri., 5/4 – If you are going to learn to paint with watercolors, start at the beginning. That is the point of Mary Ann Inman’s Beginning Watercolors course offered at the UW-Madison School of the Arts in Rhinelander July 22 to 27.
Inman, a practicing artist and teacher at UW-Madison Liberal Studies and the Arts, is currently President of the Wisconsin Regional Artist Association. Her class will include three hours’ instruction for each teaching day. But her approach to teaching watercolor is anything but dogmatic.
“I have been teaching watercolor since 2000 and love introducing the medium and its possibilities,” she said. “This course is for those who have little or no experience with watercolor who want to explore color mixing, application and technique.”
“Most importantly, I want you to have fun while learning. Creating art is a journey which is so much more fun if you fuel your adventures by enjoying the process.”
Inman’s approach to the journey includes both practical demonstrations and hands-on application by the students. “Students describe my style as laid back but informative,” she said.
“I will demonstrate how to lay down a perfect wash, color mixing and applications like dry brushing, wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and wet-on-damp. I will also address questions about materials and supplies.”
“We will paint something different each day,” she said, “starting with flowers, then moving on to skies, landscape and still life. When we paint flowers, for example, we will explore color mixing and lost-and-found edges. Each day I will introduce a new subject, and, by the end of the week, you will have a basic understanding of the steps needed to put a painting together.”
There is a materials fee for this class, and some supplies will be required. The class is recommended for beginning and intermediate students, and registration information is available at the UW-Madison School of the Arts website, soawisconsin.org. Financial assistance may be available to those who apply before June 8.
When the class is over, every student will go home with a collection of art and an appreciation for the watercolor medium. But Inman hopes the class reaches farther than that.
“Painting with watercolor can be fun and expressive,” she said, “the possibilities are endless. I always tell others my best painting is the next one; I never tire of it.”
“I want everyone to leave wishing the course wasn’t over, armed with handouts and techniques to explore at home.”