I enrolled in a painting workshop with the watercolor portrait artist Mary Whyte in July. It was fantastic in every way. Mary was a warm, generous instructor and gave us the benefit of all her years of experience. I walked away with new ways of seeing color, shape, and perspective and a number of new techniques.

This was my favorite painting from the three-day workshop; and Lola was my favorite model. Of the three models, she was the only non-professional. One of the organizers had found her at the local hardware store, working as a cashier, and convinced her to come sit for us. On day one, Lola was nervous and insecure. She'd seen the other models and thought they were much prettier than she was. What she failed to realize was that her strength of character and warmth made her much more beautiful and interesting to paint. We all ended up with better portraits of Lola than any other model.

BTW, if you're interested in a painting workshop, I highly recommend Art in the Mountains and Mary Whyte. It was a stellar experience.