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Watercolor Weekend

by the Rev. Percy Grant

On a snowy night in February a group of us gathered at Bellwether for the first annual watercolor retreat, led by Sarah Knoblaugh. We came together with varying levels of experience, confidence, and skill. There were beginners and those who wanted to start again after years of not picking up a brush, and one who came to learn about teaching. Sarah came prepared to meet all our needs.

She began simply by introducing us to the brushes and paints. She had us make our own tracing paper, to trace our drawings on to the watercolor paper. From there we mixed colors and practiced washes and learned the effects of salt and masks. Moving on to paint fruits and vegetables, and Bellwether itself, we practiced what we had learned. When our anxiety overtook us, she would yell out, “Throw water on it and find your way out.” When that did not work, she patiently walked the person to the sink and helped them add water.

Just as important as using water, was learning when to stop. When we did stop, Bellwether offered its magic, with meals that were beautiful – artists love looking at beautiful things, and baby goats and lambs, picturesque sunrises and warm fires all encouraging us to see things to paint. We came home with new brushes, new techniques, new confidence, and new friends.

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