A First-Time Painter’s Experience at Atlantic Beach Arts Market
As a young adult with so much life ahead of her, you’d think I’d have more interests and hobbies. I do, or at least I think I do – I play rhythm games on my phone, I’ve gotten into a couple of games on my Nintendo Switch again, I’ve started collecting and reading manga more so than I have in my life. Yet, while all of that feels very fulfilling and fun for me, there was this element of my life that felt…Missing, in a sense. Amidst finishing up my bachelor’s degree and working retail on the side, I hadn’t found a source for me to indulge in my creative loves in a while. All of my classes and work are online now, and being on the computer cooped up in my house, it seems that both energy and motivation for those interests can leave you so fast if you’re not careful.
To preface, I had never even been to the Atlantic Beach Arts Market before, which is where the class was being held (I live in Mandarin, so it was a bit of a drive), and I hadn’t physically painted in years. I don’t even use the paint brushes in Clip Studio Paint whenever I’ve opened it up, so I knew that I would have no idea what I was doing during the class.
Despite that worry, when I entered the building for the arts market, and then through the sliding barn door to their artistic back room, I didn’t feel intimidated at all. There were four other women there for the class, and they all seemed very polite and friendly. Roseann herself was also a sweetheart, going through every kind of basic step in the process in terms everyone could understand, and making comments over everything that made the experience calming and fun.
You could tell how knowledgeable she was too, explaining how the most important thing was the ratio of water to paint, and the many different methods of painting: Wetting the canvas and then spreading wet watercolor on it for smooth and wide strokes; dry brush, which is just to dip your brush in the paint and then swipe it on the canvas for texture and details; going over your color on the canvas with just a wet brush afterward to make it drip of blend it in; putting another color over a dried color for a glazing effect, etc. She explained different types of canvas paper, all the different brushes (yet a 14-inch, as she described, is the basic brush you need, along with one detail brush and one big brush), and all the colors of paint which ones you needed more of than others. All of which could be bought nearby, talking about locally-owned crafts shops in the area where you could get everything you needed.
Yet, while there was a lot of talk of technique as we were following along with her painting, none of it ever felt really hard or pressuring. Sure, my paintings compared to hers, were more…”Stylized”, as Roseann graciously stated, but I still felt proud of my work and had a lot of fun doing it. It was fun basically learning as you were doing. Even if maybe mixing too many colors into your water, maybe making your canvas a bit too wet, maybe needing to add more depth into your shading while still keeping your white and light showing – “Watercolor is such a challenge; you can’t always get it right.” Roseann had said after we had all finished up.
“You’re always learning…You have a hard time saying you’re done.” Which was true, seemingly for everyone in the room. The woman next to me kept detailing her trees, the woman diagonal from me kept trying out colors and shading, and a few others (including myself) tried to draw a little person after Roseann showed us how. Even if there was a chance you’d mess something up, there was this draw to just keep painting to try and get exactly what you desired. It was like a fun frustration, where you didn’t want to tell yourself to stop because you were enjoying trying to get it right.
Roseann had admitted that this was her first beginner’s class since so many people had asked her to do one, but to me, she felt like such a good teacher. Looking through her sketchbooks and hearing about how easy it could be to get into, plus all the fun I had during the class itself, Roseann honestly made me want to pick watercolor up again soon. Maybe get out of the house with it, too; just venture out and draw the life around me, away from my computer.
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A bachelor’s student (soon-to-be graduate!) of Communications & Media, with a passion for writing whatever words come to her mind. Taking inspiration from the most complicated feelings to the simplest things like cute clouds; you can transform anything you can imagine into a feast for the eyes and mind, in my opinion. I also like to take pictures of those cute clouds, among other things, whenever a sight strikes me with happiness or intrigue.
I’ve been writing among friends for several years, but my published works right now are my summer internship blogs with Connecting Thru Music (https://connectingthrumusic.org/blog)! I can’t wait to write more blogs here for First Coast Life, whether that be inspirational rambles or about my visits to all the amazing events and sights the first coast has to offer!