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Monday, August 25, 2014

Taking Risks and Reaping Rewards

'The Front Garden'       8x10       plein air pastel            ©Karen Margulis
 It wasn't an ordinary workshop. It was extraordinary! I really didn't know what to expect when one of my collectors asked me to come teach a workshop at her home in the Lake Tahoe area. She is also a pastelist and had a group of friends who were interested in learning about pastels.  I didn't have many details other than the group was mostly beginners. I had never met my hostess in person either. Everything was arranged by email. It was an adventure....and perhaps a risk...but nothing ventured, nothing gained. In the end we all gained!

All set up and ready to have fun!

I was glad I took the chance. I arrived to a warm welcome by the group to a setting that was picture perfect. Our base was a beautiful home at the base of the mountains with Lake Tahoe just over the ridge. We painted outside on the patio with the mountains and tall pines and sage forming a backdrop.

There was beauty all around and although it wasn't a plein air workshop (some had never even painted before) I did several plein air demos to illustrate important landscape points.

5x7 pastel demo on painting trees
purchase here $50

The beautiful Carson Valley

The scenery was beautiful but it was the group that really made the workshop special. They made me feel welcome and part of the group. They were excited for the workshop and eager to try something new. For three days we worked and played hard. We painted, wined and dined, painted some more and laughed...a lot.

The 'What if attitude' and fearlessness the group embraced showed in their paintings. They were fantastic. I knew it was a success when on the last day we were planning our next workshop together and everyone was asking for pastel purchase advice!

I know that every day life gets in the way and we don't always follow through on our intentions to paint more often. But I do know that after our week together we will all be looking at the world around us with fresh eyes. We will notice things like the glow of the rising sun on the pines....the many shades of blue in the sky... the eyes of an artist. The best reward for me was sharing this gift with a wonderful group of special women!  Thank you!

Early morning light 

The cool evening light
painting notes: both paintings were done en plein air on Uart paper using Mount Vision pastels. 

***Carol from UK I tried to answer your email about daisies but it came back as undeliverable. Please write again with your correct email! 

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