Quarantine and Watercolor Live

Last year in January I participated in an incredible online art workshop called Watercolor Live. It was four full days of painting demos by watercolor greats from around the globe, vendor information and presentations about products, some art history, and more. The event is put on by American Watercolor americanwatercolor.net, a division of Streamline Publishing. The publishing company was launched by the dynamic Eric Rhoads ericrhoads.com in 1986, and has grown into a machine of contribution to artists worldwide.

Watercolor Live set up in my studio with my custom made ‘paint frame’ I built in 2021

I was completely enlivened after the event in 2021. Therefore, I registered for Watercolor Live 2022 immediately. Although I tend to be relatively organized and schedule conscious, I somehow neglected to transfer the information into my 2022 calendar. Consequently, I forgot I was even registered.

“Welcome, watercolor live participants”, said an email I received in early January. Hence, my memory was jogged. “Oh no”, I thought, as I saw the dates, January 27, 28 and 29. Because those dates weren’t  in my calendar, I was double booked. On the 29th, I was scheduled to teach a watercolor workshop at Beach Art Center beachartcenter.org. Thus, I resolved myself to make it all work, as I laughed at my scheduling mishap. Replays of Watercolor Live were part of my registration, so I had a way to experience it all.

However, life had another plan. On Monday, January 24, I had been having some allergy like symptoms and went to Walgreens for a COVID test. Surprisingly, my test was positive. Although I have remained careful and have been vaccinated and boosted, Omicron made it’s way in. Given the results, it was time to quarantine.

Morning sunlight on my beloved brushes

First, I had to cancel all appointments for that week, and reschedule whatever I could, including my workshop. Second, I had to manage getting groceries. Thanks to amazing friends and Instacart, that was handled with ease. Lastly, I had to get ready for Watercolor Live. What could be a more perfect way to spend three of my quarantined days!

Thankfully, my COVID symptoms remained mild as I prepared for Watercolor Live. Day one was fabulous. It began with a demo by South American artist, Alvaro Castagnet alvarocastagnet.net . His fast and fresh approach appealed to me immediately and got my engine going. The featured image of this blog is my artwork from painting along with Alvaro’s energetic demo.

My painting from the demo with Carol Carter

My next favorite demo of day one was with renowned artist, Carol Carter carol-carter.com . Her vibrant and unique process captivated my spirit. On her website she states, “My goal is to create work that has an intimacy, mysteriousness, and sensuality.'” She is definitely winning that game. Of course, it was a divine pleasure to learn from painting along with her demonstration.

Day two stole the show for me. Celebrated artist, Amit Kapoor amitkapoorwatercolor.com, from India, brought a meditative and joyous quality to his demo. Another ‘fast’ painter, was just my speed. The challenge of painting fast coupled with the freedom of it, entices my spirit.

My painting from the demo with Amit Kapoor

Lastly, my favorite demonstration from Watercolor Live, was Taiwanese artist, Chien Chung-Wei instagram.com/chien_chung_wei . Every moment of his demonstration was like gorgeous poetry that spoke directly to my soul. Fluid and free, looking for what is most important, and once again, painting quickly breathes life into the work. In turn, the work invigorates me to the core. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from these various masters.

Painting along with Chien Chung-Wei was brilliant

What I have shared here is just the tip of the iceberg from this deliciously action packed program. Once again, I am registered for Watercolor Live 2023. This time, it’s on my calendar. This time, I won’t forget!

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