Years ago, I dabbled in watercolor painting. I never took a class, learning instead from books. Taking a course has been something I've always wanted to do. This weekend, that desire was fulfilled.
I always keep a journal. Often, when we travel, I long to be able to do a quick sketch in my journal. When I read Materfamilias' post about the class she took, Keeping an Illustrated Journal, I put the class on my "list of things to do one day."
This past weekend, I drove up to Nanaimo, boarded a ferry for Protection Island and spent two fun and challenging days of learning how to mix colors to get just the right shade, how to draw something quickly, to draw out the essentials of a scene and to apply color to sketches.
Four of us sat a table and at one point, discussed why we were taking the class. Each one expressed excitement at learning something new, but also a measure of guilt for doing something "just for me." Why is that, do you think?
Another delight was meeting Frances (and her husband Paul) of Materfamilias, who kindly offered to host me in her cozy guest cottage.
Keeping an Illustrated Journal is taught by Alison Watt, who shares her knowledge in wonderfully encouraging style. The above sketch is a detail of the Pont du Gard, from a photo taken in 2007.
That day, Tim and I rented a motor scooter in Avignon and zoomed through the French countryside to the historic bridge. It was a hot day and we changed into our swim suits behind some bushes, then swam in the water below the bridge. I imagined the Roman soldiers who built the bridge might have done just the same thing 2000 years ago. On the return trip we decided to meander along smaller roads. The scents of Provence are what I remember, olive trees, lavender, the earth itself, all wafting on the wind. Tim and I talk of that day as the highlight of our trip.
Memories like these are what photos and sketches evoke.
Have you ever thought of, or have taken a course of some kind, "just for you?"
PS Don't forget to enter my little giveaway, here.