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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Picking up my watercolour paints again

Back when I was university in the 1970's, doing my undergraduate degree in English literature, I read so much for course work that I lost the time and ability to choose my own self-direct reading. I remember each May when courses ended that it would take me a few weeks to get back into my own book choices. It was a funny conflict - reading so much that I lost the time/will to read.

Now I am having the same experience with my art classes. I overheard a young student in the class, just the other day, saying the same thing, that she always used to sketch in her free time and look forward to it as a pleasure, but now she is doing so much course directed art homework, she has lost the time and, almost to some extent, the joy of her own sketching.

Maybe that explains why I have not picked up my watercolours since I started my art class in September 2015. Or maybe I just need a goal, some structure to my paper based artwork.

The Group of Several, the local watercolour painting group to which I nominally belong (although I have not attended since last year as they meet on Tuesdays, the same day as my art class - more conflict), will be having their annual show at the Denman Island Summer Art Gallery from May 18 to 24, 2016. The theme is Denman Beaches. I will be able to rejoin the group in late April when my class ends, but in the meantime, I need to get painting again.

The early morning light was so lovely this morning that I took the opportunity to do a quick watercolour sketch of the big rock on the beach. I did it all in half an hour, but still the tide was coming in so that I started when the rock was still in the water, and it was high and dry when I finished. So, an impressionistic painting.

Scott Bay March Morning Light.

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