Monday, November 21, 2011

pjh-Christmas card class results

I first began taking watercolor classes in 1983 at the Community
Arts Center in Goldsboro, N.C.  We were stationed there at nearby Seymour Johnson AFB.  An event  held on base "showcased" all of Goldsboro's community organizations, offering the military family community the opportunity to join the groups and be a part of the local community too!  I signed up to take a "grass roots watercolor class" - a dream to learn how to paint in watercolor was a dream I'd had since college!  One of my dream goals was to be confident enough in my work to paint our own Christmas cards one day! 

I am posting this ahead of the holidays, giving away to friends and family a bit of my "surprise" to show you what a WONDERFUL teacher Desiree Habicht is. When she told us we'd be using the negative painting technique, I promptly responded I'd come to class because it's a technique that is really hard for me, and I needed to "stretch" out of that comfort zone - but I was sure  it wouldn't become our Christmas card for this year!  Desiree smiled her special smile and softly said "That's OK!"  She had some photos and also some leaves and winter berries we were welcome to use for inspiration - those who know me well, know that flowers and Penny Harrison are almost synonomous!  I used a photo of a poinsettia she'd taken for inspiration.  The poinsettias that grow so well here (native to Mexico) have more slender "bracts" (the beautiful colored part of the plant we think of as the flower!) and her photo was of a naturally growing plant!  Unknown to Desiree, the other part of my "goal" was to be able to do a watercolor of something that is uniquely "California" (I'm a native California girl like Desiree is!) 

The second half of the class was working with computer software to edit the image and then use one of the many available companies to order the printed cards.  THANK YOU DESIREE, for your enthusiastic guidance and soooo helpful critiques!  Not only did she guide me to better understand this difficult technique - here's a "preview" of that dream come true - WAHOO!!! - and I can't say it enough - THANK YOU DESIREE!!!


  1. Oh Penny, you are too kind, thank you for all the compliments but remember you painted it! I also really enjoyed the class, I am glad it was just us four since the computer part took longer than I thought and I was nervous about getting the cards in time. Everyone's cards turned out amazing, we even went in and added photos and more on the inside. Thank you again Penny, it is so exciting for me to be a part of helping you fulfill one of your dreams!

  2. Oh, Penny, you have a right to be so proud of this card and all your accomplishments. It is just gorgeous and I wish I was on your Christmas Card list. Great job. I too like the negative painting technique.

  3. Thank you Marilyn - I'd love to send you this card send your address to my email!