Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Watercolour Teacher at Last!

Thumbnail - fountain pen and brown ink

Thumbnail - black watercolour pencil

With the help of our Italian neighbours, yes, the ones who feed Dermott because he sits on their cisterna slobbering, I have finally found a watercolour teacher. Yowza! His name is Gabriele and he's a delightful man who has a passion for painting spaventapasseri (scarecrows) and makes wonderful pen and ink caricatures and political cartoons.

I carted a modest selection of my watercolours along to our first meeting. He looked at a couple of them and put them aside. That's when I knew I'd be starting from the beginning. He started sketching tiny monochrome Tuscan landscapes - beautiful. Then he handed the brush to me and I froze. That's when he took me for a walk in his orto (vegetable garden), where he fed me bunches of grapes oozing with sugar and ordered me to stand clear while he shook ripe peaches out of a tree for me. I was sent home with a bag of fresh green radicchio and instructions on exactly how to shred it and soak it to remove the bitterness before dressing it with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I have a lot to learn.

I have another lesson in a week's time. I think when I'm up to scratch with these little pen and wash or watercolour thumbnails, I will be set loose in the Tuscany landscape. It could take a while, judging from my first efforts (above).


9 comments:

Liz P said...

I love it! Art instruction and the Italian garden experience as well! Looking forward to hearing more about these lessons, you lucky girl.

(I especially like your pen and ink sketch, by the way!)

Africantapestry said...

These are such great little sketches Robyn..both of them. If I listen to your story, I think you are going to have a great time with Gabriele.. it sounds as if the latin blood is flowing strongly through his veins! Enjoy your course and it will be fun watching this journey of yours...I already like what you're doing!
Ronell

mARTa said...

Che bella cosa! All of it, the lessons, teacher,peaches and grapes! These thumbnails are exquisit and I have a feeling the teacher is going to be perfect! ah....la dolce vita.

Dave said...

Sounds like a great teacher! I wouldn't be disappointed with those sketches if I were you. I especially like the pen and ink one.

caseytoussaint said...

Both of these sketches look very successful to me, Robyn - they really seem to capture what you see (of course we can only trust you on that!) I already like the watercolors you've been doing, so now I'm very curious to see what Gabriele teaches you. I'm looking forward to following you on this journey!

Robyn said...

Thanks so much everyone for sharing my delight. Gabriele already gets an A for motivation. I'm so motivated. Don't know how long I will continue to go backwards before I start to go forward again.

Joan said...

Gabriele sounds like a teacher of art and life. These are lovely sketches of the Tuscan landscape. It looks like you're putting your heart into them. I can't wait to see lots more.

Katherine said...

Sorry to have missed this until now due to my other recent "preoccupation".

I am so glad to hear that you are found somebody who sounds as if he's going to be perfect and will help you enormously.

Christeen said...

You're such a lucky gal- good for you! I think these sketches are great- don't be so hard on yourself. Keep on keeping on, and don't be afraid to draw some junky stuff. 'Circular file' it!

It gets easier as you go, and you'll get better and better. Can't wait to see some more from you! :)

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