on new shores – painting shells in watercolor


This was another workshop for the members of the English Hour at Duke University’s International House.

In this workshop, most of the participants took their very first steps in painting with watercolors. I invited Jim Burris, a local artist from North Carolina with many years of experience painting with watercolor, to introduce the medium and demonstrate some basic techniques.

The theme for the first paintings was ‘sea shells,’ based on shells that I collected last summer along the beautiful beaches of North Carolina. Coming to new shores – both the journey and the appearance of shells in the sand of a new shore – inspired my idea for this workshop for this special group of international women because, much like myself, all of my international workshop participants have recently come to the United States and commenced on a new period in their lives.

After picking a shell, each participant made a sketch on watercolor paper and then painted the sketch using the different techniques that were demonstrated in advance. In a final presentation, each person presented her painting and talked either about the process or the idea behind the painting.


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