When you come to list all of the things the Dolomites has to offer; stunning walks, Via Ferrata, WW1 excursions, wild flower meadows etc, you think it would be difficult to find another activity to quench your curiosity of the area. However, Mary King, Resort Artist for summer 2013, is here to share her skills and tempt you into joining her for the day painting the picturesque landscape using water colour.
On this particular afternoon, Mary had chosen a beautiful setting called Capanna Alpina situated just south of San Cassiano. The towering peak of Conturines on one side of the valley provided the soon-to-be artists with plenty of interesting shapes and contrasting colours to play with. Until that time came however, Mary introduced the day with a demonstration, using a particularly admired rock of hers as the subject. The importance of choosing a realistic subject was discussed and the entire process of painting was explained along the way. An added five minutes on how to mix colours helped to refresh the memory – especially for those who hadn’t painted since school!
Once an area of interest was in focus, water was collected from the nearby stream and the brush was handed over for the guests to give it a try. A basic pencil drawing helped to get the correct perspective as Mary pointed out apparent dark cracks in the rock, adding to the composition of a finished piece. Once happy, it was time to mix some colours so that the painting could commence. Constant assistance was provided as Mary made her way between guests, lending tips to improve, offering words of encouragement and praise as each individual work of art came together.
After a successful first try, paintings were handed round and positives were exchanged, creating an atmosphere of encouragement and pride amongst the group. With a few hours to take advantage of after lunch, the subject of flowers was used for painting number two. The wildflowers in that particular area were still bursting with colour and variety, perfect for our budding botanist.
Guests were left feeling saddened (yet triumphant) when the last bus of the day was set to arrive.
When at the beginning, just after Mary had finished her demonstration, guest Naomi described water colours as not being “…as easy as it looks!”
She then left bursting with excitement explaining “That was absolutely brilliant, I love painting!”