Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Week-long Class • Coastal Maine Art

Belfast City Park:  Writing will come later.
What luck, Coastal Maine Art Workshops brought one of my favorite watercolorists, Mel Stabin, to teach a week class in Belfast. I served as "Class Monitor" which meant I got to help out in a variety of ways. When not working, I got to participate, & even had a little time to draw/paint. Very accomplished painters in the class, & then, little me, still tied to my ink line & sketching style. But I learned a lot & felt good about offering my services in my own town.

From the Park at Steamboat Landing
Stage 1. Beautiful water views were behind me, but I couldn't face the sun, so loved the view I was "forced" to observe.
Stage 2, continued at home. Learned a lot in this one. Greens still a bit bright, Mel says greens can be poisonous, they must be mixed & varied, not used straight out of the tube. Mel encourages me to do some real paintings now, from my sketches, to get out of my comfort zone...we'll see where I go from here.
Belfast is known for some of its mansions, formerly owned by ship captains. A town with beautiful flower gardens. Again, I continued my initial sketch at home.
 And my favorite: Sketching people quickly. I took pages of illustrated notes during demos & critiques.
 My favorite Mel Stabin book is out of print, but you can find a 2nd hand copy. Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused. And he has a website.

Also, check out Coastal Maine Art Workshops. Wow!! What a way to have a Maine coast vacation. You meet people from all over the country! Click here.


  1. Rita the workshop sounds delightful. I always love your pen and ink with the watercolors. It is so fresh and you capture so much with your joyful line. Hope you will give it a try painting from some of your lovely sketches. Hugs!

  2. i love your ink line and sketching style.

  3. Oh what a ball:)
    I hope you never change your style..I love it..all of these!
    Will check out his style and book..a few books I have I have no idea why I bought them:(
    A few..I love;)

  4. I love your posts, sketches, style . . .
    Very much . . .
    They tell stories . . . I like.

  5. Looks like a great opportunity and a lovely setting. Getting out of your comfort zone is so helpful, even if it's just temporary, I think. Of course I already love your sketch style!

  6. I really love these and I love your sketches and style. I lack style. You have it in spades. I understand learning to work without the ink sketch and all -- it's just a smart learning thing to do and good training and experience. But you also have something that works very well for you. I "see" things in your colorful sketches I don't see in more painterly art, if that's the right word.

    And I know what he means about the greens. I have horrible trouble with them, even when I mix them. What I really need is a good mixing class -- not online but live and in person. Maybe I should suggest that to my local gallery.

  7. Oh, I love these, Rita. Beautiful, beautiful sketches. One of my watercolor teachers always had us add a little bit of red to our greens. Sometimes I still do it, but I have to be careful that it doesn't dull them down too much.

  8. I love your sketches! I want to start sketching outside but I don't know how many colors I should bring and which one. What would you recommend?

  9. Like others (above), I love your ink and sketch style--so distinct and graceful. I wonder what 'real paintings' would be -- and hope they do not lose the ease and energy of your sketches. xx


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