Watercolour with Fiona Kate

I first tried my hand at watercolour painting when I was 11 years old. I spent an afternoon on a South New Zealand farm with Russian watercolour artist Svetlana Orinko. She gave me my first set of watercolour paints – 24 beautiful colours and a couple of brushes. Svetlana taught me the gentle art of painting the sky – in many glorious colours, and the tricks artists use to create white clouds. I was beyond inspired. I still have this watercolour paint set. Two weeks ago I dusted it off for the first time in over a decade to see if it 'still worked' and it does! The colours are still as vibrant as ever although I'm a little low on all shades of blue.

Earlier this month when a watercolour class at Megan Morton's The School was announced I remembered fondly that first watercolour lesson. It had been far too long since my last (and only) watercolour class, and I felt the need to expand my watercolour skill set beyond painting skies and clouds. This class was taught by Fiona Kate, who among many creative ventures is a watercolour artist. Her work is vibrant yet delicate, and I particularly like her geometric paintings.

In this beautiful class, I painted my first watercolour colour wheel (using only 3 colours! Can you believe it?), explored the freedoms of water and paint dancing on the page, and tried to guide my brush into some sort of geometric order (last image in this post). But I think the most valuable thing I learned, and the thought I'd like to leave with you is:

Live a creative life the rest will follow.

Whatever your creative medium, if you love it – do more of it and don't be afraid to see where it takes you.

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Back to basics, my watercolour wheel.

Back to basics, my watercolour wheel.

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My watercolour dots

My watercolour dots

Photography by Galina Dixon © 2013. All paintings featured are by Fiona Kate unless otherwise noted, read more about Fiona Kate on her website or blog. For more information about creative classes check out Megan Morton’s The School.