Painting perspectives from the lake 

Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake offer acrylic, watercolour, basket weaving, drawing classes

What: Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake

When: Aug. 12-27

Where: Chaplainville House

Ticket: $125-$250

Out of all of the painting mediums, watercolour is the best place to start for the novice enthusiast whose living space is of a constrained nature.

There is still a chance to try your hand at watercolour painting this summer. While Sharon Jensen’s Beginner Watercolour Painting on the Lake workshop Aug. 14-15 is already full, there are still a few spots left at her Aug. 12-13 workshop.

"It’s the easiest (art form) to pack along on a vacation and you always have something to do," Jensen said of watercolour painting. "Materials can be small and light and easy to clean up. You’re not dealing with fumes or paints that dry too quickly. It’s a wonderful medium."

The watercolour class is part of the inaugural Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake program Aug. 12 to 27 held in the Chaplainville House , located on Alta Lake.

The three-week run of classes is presented by the Whistler Arts Council and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Officials hope the workshop format will eventually lead to an artist in residence program.

Earlier this year, the RMOW acquired the house and neighbouring shed on the west side of Alta Lake, across from Wayside Park, as part of a development agreement.

The heritage home currently is unable to meet the needs for artistic endeavours such as a glass-blowing or pottery spinning, and therefore, this year’s program focuses on easy-set up practices, including watercolour, acrylic and oil painting, as well as First Nations art.

In years to come, other artists, including actors, musicians and photographers, will find a home in the two-storey lodging. Bedrooms will be refurbished into artist living quarters and the kitchen and bathroom facilities will be overhauled.

Until then, six artists from all over B.C. will host all-day workshops, ranging from one to three days.

Jensen hosts a watercolour class Saturday, Aug. 12 to Sunday, Aug.13 from 9-4 p.m. at Chaplainville House. The local artist will explore the various properties of watercolour paints, papers and canvas supports. Techniques taught include washes, glazing, wet-in-wet, backruns and blending. The class is $125.

Jensen plays a prominent role in the fabric of Whistler’s arts community as a member of the Whistler Arts Council and the Federation of Canadian Artists. Her works have been displayed at the Adele Campbell Gallery, ARTrageous, Millennium Place, the Newport Gallery and the Squamish Adventure Centre.

Also this week, Alex Fong hosts Something Shiny, Something New, an intermediate to advanced watercolour workshop, Wednesday, Aug. 16 to Thursday, Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chaplainville House.

The Vancouver artist uses a technique he calls confetti – a series of coloured flecks that produce a translucent, impressionistic-style painting. Students will explore what he deems key ingredients to the watercolour art form: strong values, contrast, shades of gray, quality of light and better use of the colour wheel. Fong is a touring member of the Western Lights Artists Group and has exhibited his works in Canada and the U.S. over the past 15 years.

Other workshops to look forward to are the First Nations Inner Cedar Bark Basket Weaving with Melvin Williams Aug. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.; The Art of Drawing with Isobel MacLaurin Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Acrylic Underlay and Oil Painting with Alan Wylie Aug. 23-35 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Acrylic Techniques with Janice Robertson Aug. 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To register or for more information on other classes, call 604-938-9221 or visit www.whistlerartscouncil.com.

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