If you like painting along with Bob Ross, you’ll love learning watercolors with artist Lynette Boyer.
And a glass of wine provided by The Nature Link in Conifer will help with any “happy little accidents” along the way.
The Nature Link began a two-class series on beginning watercolor painting Jan. 12 as a preview of a six-week watercolor course starting Jan. 22.
By the end of the first class, students came away with knowing the levels of staining different watercolor paints possess and some tricks on using brushes to achieve certain effects.
Student Marilyn Franklin, a Conifer artist who works in multiple mediums, often at The Nature Link, explained that her medium is marbling and acrylics, but she dabbles in many forms, including watercolor painting.
“I have a feel for how to create 3D shapes, but I’ve never been able to create what I want with watercolors,” she said.
At the second class, she planned to use photos of her property in Conifer as inspiration for a watercolor painting.
Artist Boyer has been painting since childhood, though she took a break during her nursing career years and while raising her children.
“Nobody taught me how to paint. It was basically so they’d leave me alone and not make me do housework,” she said, laughing.
Boyer entered her first art contest in 1992 and had a painting accepted into a show at the Museum of Modern Art. Now, she hopes to share her love of art by teaching others.
One of the things Boyer stresses is how accessible watercolor painting can be because you do not have to draw out your scene first, but you can merely start by painting shapes and slowly adding detail. Boyer also tries to keep the art realistic for beginners.
“Do not ever waste money on expensive paint brushes. …Where you want to put your money, I believe, is in paints,” she said.
Another tip Boyer has for people exploring watercolors is to change up your perspective.
“Don’t always paint right side up,” she explained. “Flip it upside down.”
Boyer thinks this technique can keep an artist from getting too caught up in the scene, and allow them to take a step back and simply paint the pieces and shapes as they come in the picture.
Dina Baker, owner of The Nature Link, taps into all kinds of art mediums but recently has been working on the art of letting go by working with watercolors without drawing out scenes beforehand.
Baker says classes like this excite her students, and she enjoys learning alongside them. She thinks having a place for the art community to come together and create fulfills the vision she originally had for The Nature Link. Painting scenes from the local wilderness is icing on the cake.
“I can’t picture a day without art or nature,” she said.