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  • Writer's pictureJoel Popadics

Watercolor Reflections & Resolutions

Bring your tree shapes to life. Paint a stream so that it looks like moving water, or create a sky so that it feels as though it goes back for miles and miles.

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential." - Ellen Goodman

I hope you had a terrific holiday season!

It's a time of year for resolutions, and I've made a couple - to become a better painter and teacher. Basically, the same resolutions I've had for the past 30 years or so (I'm always trying). And every January, I make a list of things to help me accomplish those goals.

Sometimes I focus on technical stuff, like perfecting an intricate sky wash on an oversized sheet. Or improving the way I texture a foreground or capture the reflective colors in a copper vase. These are goals I've worked on in the past. It's a never-ending process, and that's always a good thing.

If you paint, take a yearly, critical look at your work. Be honest with yourself; assess what you do well and what areas need improvement. If you're stuck, ask your painting instructor for some constructive criticism and have him/her list a few things that you might work on. Look at some areas you may want to improve. Recognize what you have done well, and cultivate that.

Maybe you feel that the commitments in your life leave little room for personal expression. Make it a goal this year to establish a regular painting schedule and to take a watercolor class. A couple of hours, even once a week, can make a huge difference in your artistic development. It's remarkable what you can accomplish in just a few hours. That's why a class in a studio environment may help you achieve this goal. Many people who paint with me on a regular basis tell me it really makes a difference in their progress and their enjoyment of the medium.

Want to make rapid progress in painting? Why not enroll in a painting workshop? I'm planning several this year. A trip to a beautiful location does wonders for your spirit and helps you make great strides as an artist. Let your vacation include doing what you love. Allow it to be something you've always dreamed of doing. In past Plein air painting trips, many participants have told me the experience made them a more confident painter. ​

Here are some of the workshops that I’m planning for 2020:

Saturday, January 18 - Monday, January 20

Hosted by the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT

Wait list only

Tuesday, May 26 – Thursday, May 28

Hosted by Riverside Art Workshops in Newburgh, NY

Monday, June 15  – Friday, June 19

Hosted by the Hudson Valley Art Workshops at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, Greenville, NY.

I’m also planning workshops with Portsmouth Art Guild in Portsmouth, RI and the Shelburne Craft School in Shelburne, Vermont. I’ll be posting more information once plans are finalized. Click here for more information about my workshops.

When you are making your resolutions, put "art in my life" on your list. Realize your potential. Connect with your community. You owe it to yourself.

I'm looking forward to working with you in 2020!

Happy New Year, and happy watercoloring!

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