Over the years many people have looked at my art and sighed, "I wish I could do that."
"You can!" I have always replied, "I will teach you!"
Although some people prefer to jump straight into painting, I coax my beginning students into a few hours of drawing basics. If the drawing of the house is leaning, the painting will also lean. With only a pencil and paper, the student first relaxes through a few simple exercises then grasps the main concept of drawing. Years ago I taught traditional watercolors, but there are few shortcuts that trump the discipline of practice. Traditional watercolors frustrate many beginners. Practice, practice and practice, and eventually the student learns how to manipulate the pigments.
While helping a friend settle into her new condo in the Republic of Panama, I was challenged by the patterns and colors of the Kuna Indian's unique Mola textiles. Although a stained-glass watercolor was incubating in my head, I continued to admire the colorful patterns of the Molas. When this friend developed painters block during a drawing and painting session, I pondered the key for unlocking her block.
Eureka! Molas! What a great opportunity it was to experiment with molas while embarking on a new teaching journey! The first mola surpassed my expectations, and with each student, I continue to marvel at the speed in which they grasp the concept and find their own special style.
Scroll through the images and remember that for many - these are their very first paintings!