Find your own adventure at the Art Society, Trinidad and Tobago | Explore and Wander

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At 9.45 on Saturday I walked into the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago to begin their two day, weekend long class in water colour painting with Artist Clayton De Freitas. I walked in through the glass door, to an almost already filled space, excited as can be ready and eager to start after having made my first batch of manual brewed coffee at home, for two. 

Earlier at around 5.30 I woke up as I would on any other weekend with plans to spend the a.m. slow at home rising with the sun. I was thankful to be at home as I am not able to always enjoy this simple luxury, and was ready to soak in every ounce of the morning slowly, a luxury I can only enjoy on certain week end days.  I'd thought I would indulge my mother who is also coffee lover and put some use to her growing collection of  third wave coffees and brew at home, something I'd do once in a while. While not the best morning having signed up for the art class I stole the moment anyway. 

We had the coffee black, it was delicious but could have been stronger. I would tweak my process next time around. Enjoying that meant I was slightly late to the Art Society, walking into the art gallery felt like a first day at school, but only for a second,  as others were already set up with most of the other students preparing their work-space and I made a conscious effort to meet and introduce myself to those around me, this made light of first moments with new faces. I got to following instructions and setting out my workspace without delay while others walked in and started same. There was opportunity to buy supplies like the paper, the specific brushes, the paints etc. as the facilitators anticipated us students, mostly first time painters needing this. There we shared stations with each attendee's name throughout the room and a small tea/ coffee table tucked away in one corner. 

 

It was my first time meeting Clayton. From start he was patient, friendly, lighthearted and an excellent sharer of his work flow and techniques. He has this dry humor as he conducts the various sessions during the day (I loved it), encouraging us to be bold and brave with the paints, our strokes and our intentions. My Paria tabanca lead me to choose a photo of the ocean and mountains I captured while there the previous weekend, as I spent a beautiful time there on Paria Bay with my buddies.  Clayton suggested either using an actual photo or a sketch as a guide. If we wished to get to painting freely, he made that an option also. A huge mistake lead me to add folliage and an electrocuted dog (this was not intentional) and human like figures (I need to practice making humans) to my art work. The birds were added also, why not right. 

One thing I appreciated a great deal with painting this weekend is that unlike a picture I can easily add elements and subtract those I didn't wish to have included. It opened an entirely new world, something magical, something dreamy, something unreal, that photography does not allow for me. I try as much as I can to get all my shots in camera will little post processing, retouching or composites. I loved that painting allowed this.

 

Earlier in 2015 I bought a small set of pastel paints and on a separate occasion a paint brush set in preparation for my plans to some day get to painting. I really am fascinated by oils and figure I would end up there as the texture and life matches well with the vision I have brewed up for a personal photography project that involves hand written personal notes ( I got to this, this past Christmas. Making all the Christmas cards to go with the gifts I gifted) and oil painting and I cannot wait till it all falls into place.

It started then. Since then I knew someday, when the time was right, I would get my hands dirty in the oils  and while this was a watercolour painting class I thought that it to be an excellent start. 

Between choosing a colour palette, mixing the colours ( I think my very favorite part) and sharing a class with a friend that I didn't see in years save the frustration (at the lack of corporation among my brain the paint brush and the paint) that began building on day two I cannot wait to practice my humans, animals, birds, brush strokes and playing with depth in the future. 

We learnt stippling, to use the flat, round and fan brushes, we learnt about creating depth and adding life in the paintings. It was a treat and excellent compliment to my photography practice.

My curiosity and passion to create lead me here ...The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago

With love from Freeport;

Chan