To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


You didn't know but the readers of my blogs get to see most of the newest and unpublished art, not shown yet on my art web site www(dot)stgermainart(dot)com. Yet, I admit it, you are my favorites :)
So, if you've never been on my art site, you don't know that I also paint watercolors!

After my 20-year break from painting, I had time to experiment every three weeks in which I was waiting for the next draft of my research dissertation to be edited by my committee. They must have bought up a whole year's inventory of red ink pens!

I knew NOTHING about the medium of watercolor.
Coming from Europe in the eighties, I actually had never seen anyone do a watercolor, and I didn't know anything about workshops or art associations here, so I started buying books and taught myself. I could have saved myself a bundle of agony as well as $$, if I had had a teacher.

This is the plein air site for the watercolor painting at the end.

Yet, on the other hand, I wouldn't have had the wealth of the teaching of different watercolor artists, several having published in the major art magazines. I discovered that where we went for our yearly vacations, they gave free art lessons, every day for four hours. That was music to the ears of a poor grad. student.

At 10 am we would go as a group of vacationers (all beginners and kids) to the plein air location, and paint the landscape we saw, with intermittent teachings of the artist.
Then in the afternoon around 1:30 I would pack up my stuff and join the family for the rest of the day. I did this for several years and then went on my own excursions.

It is very safe in the park and people are helpful. Cannot remember how many of my lunches got broken into by curious squirrels! They smell the food, even when I'm painting with oil paint!

This is artist Rip van Winkel teaching on the importance of putting dark and light values next to each other.
It is wisdom not to pooh pooh teachers. Your art will develop much faster when you are taught the basics. It goes without saying that a wise teacher lets you develop your own style and your own niche instead of encouraging you to copy his or her art.

9 x 12 , Watercolor, St.Germain

This is a scene of a little stream in the valley. Sorry, the water on the painting is actually white, with little blue strokes to indicate the flow, but it did not show up, when I modified the pic in Photoshop, if I wanted to display the accurate shade of the trees and the background.
Usually my watercolors are much lighter and more transparent, but this one shows a golden cast.
I am very pleased it did this time!


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Most gorgeous work!!!

Whitemist said...

I know I do not always follow the rules, but heck I enjoy my challenges. I enjoy your woodland interpretation!
On a simple note, I do accept all criticism of my own work except when they tell me it is not "watercolor style" cause I already know that.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for your kindness, Gary!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! It really is a matter of interpretation, isn't it? To me, there is not a particular style that goes with a certain medium - that would be taking away the freedom of the artist!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I was standing in line once to hear a very well-known interior designer speak at a design symposium. A very young woman stood beside me tapping her toe in impatience and finally she said...."I'm leaving. She doesn't have anything to teach me anyway". I remember foolish. We can always learn from others. Wonderful post!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It is always great to have a mentor as they have the skills in order to show you the finer things.

jeannette stgermain said...

I so agree with you - pride is always foolish, because we close ourselves off from learning something new! Thanks for visiting:)

jeannette stgermain said...

No one is ever too old to learn something new (even us old fogies, haha)!

DUTA said...

Sounds iteresting - the art lessons at the plein air location, the interaction between Nature, teachers, and beginners in the watercolor art.

crochet lady said...

Having a teachable spirit is always best. I think there is always more to learn.

I never thought of myself as much of a painter. Of the different mediums I tend to like watercolor the best. I tinkered with a few watercolor paintings years ago and always wanted to try again, but the task seemed to daunting. Maybe someday I'll look into taking a few classes.

I like the golden glow yours emanates.

The Gossamer Woman said...

I've never learned to paint, so I admire anyone who can. I usually like paintings in bright bold colors, which as a rule excludes watercolors. But who says that always has to be so?

jeannette stgermain said...

As always you are very observant! I am thankful for all the help I got from all gifted artists.

jeannette stgermain said...

True, it's not the easiest medium, but with watercolor I find that when you keep learning it will "stick with you" and what you could start with is to go to your local or nearest art association. Just attend and see what they do.
Often they have weekly or monthly meetings where people, from beginner to advanced can bring in their work and get advice. Some bring in speakers.

jeannette stgermain said...

Right on, watercolors don't have to look "watery." That's one of the reasons I posted this one, and I'm going to post another one in the coming weeks that is in this genre.

Denise said...

Jeannette, beautiful! You are a very talented artist and I always enjoy my visits here as I enjoy your poss also. Have a great weekend.

jeannette stgermain said...

You're already thinking about the weekend?? It's only Thursday! (just kidding) And thank you - am glad you like the painting and coming here:)

PJ said...

I love the colors you chose for the watercolor. It's pretty frustrating to learn something on your own only to find it would have been infinitely easier to get help. It sounds like you've made some great connections.

Lynette said...

Jeannette, I love the warm hue and shape of your trees, this is a lovely painting! I always wanted to try watercolors and plein air painting, it looks so fun!

jeannette stgermain said...

Plein air painting is fun, no matter in which medium! Watercolor has the advantage that you just have to wipe off the brushes. Carrying a wet oil with you is more precarious, and you can't forget about the brushes when you come home, LOL.
Try it sometime:)

Reader Wil said...

It's very beautiful! And you are right about teachers! We might be talented, but a talented teacher may add a little more to your work than you had done yourself, if you know what I mean. Thanks for this post!
You asked about voting. Well we vote every five years, but I don't remember how often we have voted now!

Susan at Stony River said...

That's just beautiful; I love the colours and curves in it!

I've tried watercolour and just didn't have the knack for it on my own. I agree with you--a teacher would be a treasure. I'm looking forward to the time when I can enjoy such things, and try again!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Sausan at Stony River! Hope you'll find a watercolor artist soon who can teach you.