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Do you have something that has taken over your life?  Something that makes you see things in a different way and that has you looking at things upside down and right side up? Something that gives you a lot of pleasure?

Translucent Colors, Intense Joy+Magic


I paint and sketch mini tableaux. They started out on 3 x 5 notebooks then onto 8 x 8 inch watercolor paper and now they are getting larger. The art is simple, naive-like, colorful and fun. They are meant to be fun to me and for me. It became a way for me to journal.

I’m originally a photographer and I have had many art classes but I never ventured into the world of watercolor so I researched and basically taught myself. I took a few online classes that helped me a lot (links will be below).

One day I spread out my watercolors and thought that it was time to learn a bit more about the medium and about composition. I didn’t want to change the naive-like aspect but I did want to learn more about the technical aspects of this art and I just felt that I was ready for a change.

I was about to go to Edinburgh where I try to go a few times a year and decided to search for a teacher. There are quite a few places that teach art but I wanted a few one on ones.

Meet my Teacher

David Schofield and I after one of our classes

David Schofield and I after class

I scheduled four classes with David Schofield.  I love his illustrations, design and sense of color  and so I thought that he would be the right person to guide me and he was.

Our classes were about technique, color, shapes and something really scary: Taking out unnecessary things from the art work.  Sort of like de-cluttering.  If any of you have gone through a house or closet de-clutter you will understand how I felt.  I felt like I was walking on a high wire with no net!

It was so frightening and so freeing.

Putting down Marks



My art work is full of texture made with felt pens that are painted over watercolor.

I wanted my images to look more fluid. Truth be told: Many of those detailed texture marks are there to hide my lack of watercolor knowledge and some of them were for pure fun.

Putting down tiny marks on paper is very meditative. David taught me how to put down the essential marks that will tell a story and I learned that sometimes one brushstroke can do that.  It was beautiful to see that.

Subtracting Noise from my Art Work


During one of our classes David produced a lovely book he covered the illustrations that accompanied the text.  I was asked to paint according to how I felt when I read that text. I was free to imagine anything. We discussed my ideas and I made several sketches for the texts.

During our chats and critiques we removed the clutter from the art work and focused on the essence of the story and the brushstroke marks. Looking back on our sessions: I over examined everything but it was a very interesting process for me.



My photography is very linear and my sketches are literal so I was thrilled to see abstract marks coming from my hands. It was almost as if someone else was doing them. On one of those sunny days in Edinburgh….David shared one of my assignments from our class on his Instagram and he wrote that it was my work.  I posted that I did not paint it and that he had done it.  I didn’t even recognise my own work.  Such a big change.

On my Own

I left Edinburgh with assignments. David sent me parts of poems and paragraphs from stories and asked me to interpret them. I had a hard time when I was on my own. I was thinking like a photographer and I wanted to sketch everything. I literally had to meditate for a few minutes before starting a watercolor.

From a poem by Fernando Pessoa

From a poem by Fernando Pessoa


I was very scared of changing how I did things and I was afraid that I would not get it. There were times that I didn’t quite understand the concepts but I made a big effort to go with the flow. I would place a piece of paper on the table and walk away because I was scared of marking it the wrong way. Old voices popped in my mind and I had to work through them.

Does fear stop you from doing things you want?  Don’t let it!  The way that I figure it is that if I freeze and let fear take over nothing will happen and nothing will change.

Changing how I see and how I add marks on paper has been a fantastic experience and I look forward to my future Skype classes with my teacher!


A few links for you

David Schofield Artist and Teacher David’s Instagram

Sandrine Pelessier online classes

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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