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Let's Build a Watercolor Painting at the Dickinson County Nature Center
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Let's Build a Watercolor Painting at the Dickinson County Nature Center

Last August, the lower level of the Dickinson County Nature Center was full of budding artists with their palettes of watercolor paints, bristled brushes and bright smiles.

Terril artist Anita “Katie” Plucker sat down with them and showed them step-by-step the process of creating a beautiful painting just like hers. Layering, adding texturing, getting inspired by nature --- the students learned it all.

When the class concluded, it was such a success that Plucker booked the nature center for another watercolor workshop Aug. 12-14, 2015.

Time has flown by, and that class is almost upon us.

Plucker said the course will be different from last year’s, and repeat students are invited to attend.

The class will feature a review of watercolor supplies, information that is valuable to even experienced painters. Plucker will take students through a step-by-step layering process and the use of both positive and negative shapes. She will also show how to create a sense of depth and strong composition.

Plucker likes to hold classes at the nature center because the building complements the nature theme of the workshop.

“Participants are free to move about in and out of the nature center and just really become immersed,” she said.

The class is an intermediate-level course, meaning that students should have a knowledgeable understanding of watercolors and some experience. Plucker said students don’t need to be seasoned artists, though.

Plucker not only is an accomplished artist herself, but she enjoys the process of teaching others.

“I just love sharing what I’ve learned from my own personal experience to this point,” she said. “Even if I’m not painting, thinking about and talking about painting, the experience and the process and the joy of art, that’s a pleasure for me as well.”

She hopes that students become excited about art and nature and will learn more about the process of painting with watercolors. She thinks Let’s Build a Watercolor Painting will help students look at nature in a new way.

“I hear that a lot --- ‘Oh, I see the water in a new way,’” Plucker said. “It can be laborious. It can be challenging, but at the same time when they’ve sifted through the information, they’ll grab ahold of something that excites them.”

Let’s Build a Watercolor Painting costs $155 per person. Register with Plucker by Aug. 4 by calling 712-240-6343 or e-mail Payment reserves your spot in the class, which has a maximum of 16 participants.

But you don’t need to hear more from me --- here are what some of Plucker’s former students had to say about her workshop.

  • “I am not a born Picasso or Grant Wood. I am, however, a keenly interested observer and lover of art. I have taken several workshops from Anita Plucker and own several of her art pieces. With each class I have taken, I have grown as an artist and have, dab by dab, become a better painter.”
  • “I have attended many workshops. I have never learned so much and been so excited to continue with concepts presented in my work going forward.”
  • “Katie is a gifted watercolor artist and a marvelous teacher. She is able to work with people of all skill levels and lead even beginners to produce lovely watercolor paintings.”
  • “Katie allowed me to explore and create on my own and sometimes even forced me to figure things out myself. I appreciate her gentle manner and candidness at times. She definitely inspires and develops empowerment in painting in all her students.”

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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Thanks for blogging about this great event! We pinned it on Pinterest
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