KEESEVILLE - Ann Pember has been painting in watercolor since her days attending the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in the 1960s. However, one thing she hasn't done with her talent in that time is share it from the comfort of her own home - until now.
Pember will be opening the doors of her own creative workspace, Water Edge Studio, Sunday, July 18, inviting aspiring artists to learn about the wonders of watercolor and to sign up for painting workshops to be taught from her home.
"This is a first," said Pember. "I've done workshops locally, but I haven't done them at home."
While Pember has spent several years conducting workshops across the country, she recently decided to paint at home more and travel less.
"I was doing four or five [workshops] a year, but I'm now leaving it at just two or three," she said. "I thought I'd try some at home to see how they felt."
The open studio next week will be a way to do just that, and to also celebrate the release of her new book on CD, "Make Dynamic Paintings in Watercolor."
"It's been awhile since I wrote the first book, which was in hardcover," said Pember. "I just felt like maybe approaching it in a different way would be useful for people."
The new CD and workshops are ways Pember looks to share her years of painting experience with others, she said. Long before her works were selected for more than 165 national juried exhibitions and won more than 40 awards, Pember was once a budding artist herself, she said. That's why she wants to share words of advice to help people get started on the right artistic path.
"One of the things I suggest is they don't overwhelm themselves with too many materials," said Pember. "Particularly, paint. There are so many kinds of paint out there, and the various companies will take the same pigment and give it different names, which can be confusing."
The same is also true when it comes to paper and paintbrushes, she said.
"Some papers aren't very forgiving and others will actually let you take paint off, which is unusual in watercolor," said Pember. "And, with brushes, you don't need to have super expensive brushes, but you do need to pay attention to whether or not they'll make a good mark."
"Do they have a nice point, or if they're flat, do they have a good edge," Pember said are some of the questions budding artists need to ask.
The July 18 open studio will be held at 14 Water Edge Road from 1-4 p.m. Watercolor classes will be offered beginning that week, starting with two half-day classes Wednesday, July 21, and Saturday, July 28. Weekend classes will be held Saturday, July 24, through Sunday, July 25, and Saturday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 1. A critiquing session will be offered Saturday, Aug. 14.
For more information, contact Pember at 834-7440, by e-mail to email@example.com or her Web site, www.annpember.com.