Today I attended a free event at Manassas Battlefield, for a plein air class...or Nature Journaling, by their first Artist in Resident, Roxanne Steed.
I've long wanted to learn how to be an artist. What began as a natural curiosity bloomed into deeper earnest when I began sewing and wearing historical clothing to enhance my teaching of history. Ladies of the past learned art. I thought it would be great to add to my interpretation.
I was quite excited to learn that Roxanne is from Connecticut, where I have traveled to Mystic Seaport. My time at Connecticut was absolutely lovely. I'd love to travel there again, capturing memories of the lovely scenery with paint and brush.
But first, I needed to learn how. I am not an artist. I've never had an art lesson. Did I even belong here? We were quickly assured that this event was for both the artist and non-artist. Roxanne made our beginning journey quite accessible.
I have quite the collection of art supplies, purchased in our homeschooling days. My son is quite the artist, but I am not. I actually brought only the watercolor pencils, since I've always thought they'd be simplest to use when out and about. I also brought the lavender notebook. (The rest I added to my collection after her class...because my notebook does not have a strong enough weight for watercolor, I learned.)
I drove to the infamous Stone Bridge at Manassas Battlefield on April 1. The trick of the day was the weather. Although it should be spring, it felt more like winter. Because of the late winter, the bluebells were not yet out in their typical spring profusion.
Roxanne gave us some beginning overview of watercolor nature journaling. And surprise...she featured water color pencils due to their ease of use for us beginners!
After walking to the Stone Bridge, we gathered around Roxanne while she demonstrated all she had discussed in the parking lot.
She showed us some of the journaling she had already done from other spots around the battlefield earlier in the week.
And yet another scene from another part of the battlefield...
And yet another...
Roxanne's portable paint studio...
Even though she invited us to begin painting, we preferred to watch her paint the Stone Bridge. I learned I don't have to stress every single detail.
A few bluebells were out, in their colorful array of blues, pinks, and purples.
I settled on this. Here is the watercolor pencil part...
...to which I later applied water.
Perhaps not bad for a first try?
In May I attended another class led by the second Artist in Resident, who happened to be a student in this class. Stay tuned for that!