Writer, artist and student, Ivana Gatica is guest blogger this week.

In David Hockney: A Bigger Picture a film by Bruno Wollheim, Hockney returns to paint his native Yorkshire. At the onset of the film we see Hockney driving the English countryside as he reflects that “I always felt that I was a person of privilege, (because) I always saw the beauty in things.”


Painting by the Pond Workshop with Nanci Hersh

Jen Grow in action- Day #4 Painting by the the Pond Workshop

Group at Hannah's prg

Sharing insight and support. (l)Rosemary in the chair, Hannah showing her painting to Jen with Nora looking on. Painting on the easel (r) by Nora Fraser.

Spending the week Painting by the Pond, a summer workshop with Nanci and friends, I too, see that we are privileged. We spend each morning with brushes, paints and canvas ready to tackle the intricate beauty of Nanci’s gardens and pond.

Painting by the Pond Summer 2015 with Nanci Hersh

The waterfall and some of the gardens at Painting by the Pond

From 9 to 12 we challenge ourselves to document the patterns, movements, and endless compositions that we can find in the midst of trickling water and dancing fish. Everywhere you look there is a possibility for a painting, and the hardest part is deciding what to include and what to leave out, what to change and what to paint like you see it. But being surrounded by artists of all different ages and skills allows you to notice what they notice and, thus, understand what they find beautiful.

Kay Shorah at work under the umbrella

Kay Shorah at work under the umbrella

Painting by the Pond with Nanci Hersh Summer 2015

Rachel set up camp at my large table just inside with doors wide open and her supplies within reach

There’s little else I’d rather do than spend my mornings with this inspiring group of people who are caring and as eager to learn as you are.

Painting by the Pond Summer 2015

Jen Grow, Bobbi Levitt and Thania Ruiz sharing tips for Painting by the Pond

We will continue to experiment, to learn, and to create color because, in the words of David Hockney, “you wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.”

Painting by the Pond Summer workshop 2014

Rosemary Russell’s homemade berry tart was a work of art – as well as a delicious contribution to the snacks we have been sharing all week. Sustenance!

Ivana Gatica will be attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall 2015 with a double major in art and creative writing.

Ivana Gatica at work

Ivana Gatica at work


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