Today it was my turn to play tourist…

Jul 13, 2022 | 1 comment

Eric Wiegardt Demonstrating His Process — 7-13-22

… and right here in Oysterville, too!  After living in the very center of our National Historic District for more than a quarter of a century and answering a gazillion questions (or, more often, the same question, a gazillion times) it was great fun to put that tourist-y shoe on the other foot, so to speak.  But I didn’t ask any questions.  I just looked and wondered and marvelled.

My friend Debbie Fisse (more about her in a bit) was on the Peninsula taking a watercolor class from Eric Wiegardt.  Today they were in Oysterville over in the schoolyard, and I wandered over to take a look.  Eric was doing a demonstration painting for about a dozen students and, (inadvertently) for me.  His subject was the Dorothy Perkins rose vine twined around the schoolyard fence.

Eric’s Watercolor Class – Screenshot from Video

In conversational tones, he described what he was doing and why, his back to his students so they could see his brushstrokes caressing the paper… so they could watch the roses “grow” as the painting progressed.  If you could possibly hear a pin drop on grass, you’d have heard many.  The students were rapt.  Even the cars going by seemed to move on tip-tires so drivers could catch what Eric was saying.

About his workshops, Eric’s website says this:  These workshops are designed to loosen up even the tightest painter and break the niggling detail habit. Painting loose is much more than a technique. It requires an understanding of specific design concepts in order to free one’s mind. Each day, Eric will focus on one of these principles. He will show how to construct a beautiful painting in one sitting, and free creative thinking from cumbersome theories of color and composition. There will be time for individual instruction in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Demonstration Painting Completed 7-13-22

And relaxed it was — if that’s how one describes an ecclectic group of adults, lounging in the sun, yet riveted to the emerging painting and hearing nothing beyond Eric’s quiet explanations and musings, suggestions and revelations.  It was a magical forty-five minutes — or was it a half-hour or an hour-and-a-half?  I have no idea.  How long does it take a vine of Dorothy Perkins to grow, anyway?

Bless Debbie for suggesting I come take a look!  She is the daughter-in-law of Rose Espy Glynn who, during the 1980s, owned and lived in the W. D. Taylor House just south of the Oysterville Church.  Rose bought the house at the suggestion of her brother, Charles Espy, who had read Willard’s Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village and came here to meet his relatives and to see this little village for himself — a village that one of his cousins had founded back in 1854.  Rose volunteered at the Ocean Park Library, became good friends with my folks and, of course, introduced us to her son Ray Glynn and soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Debbie.

Debbie Fisse – From Her FaceBook Page

So… I guess Debbie is actually a shirttail relative but, more importantly, she is a FaceBook friend and, more importantly than that (at least on this visit) provided me with an opportunity to observe Eric’s class “up close and personal.”  (And did I say that Eric graciously invited me to come on into the schoolyard and showed me the very best place from which to watch his painting evolve?)

My take-away was not that he made it look so easy.  With a painter of Eric’s caliber, I believe that’s a given.  But that he made it seem like anyone — yes ANYone (even me) — could be successful at painting was the lesson that came shining through.  That Eric is a gifted artist I’ve known for years.  That he is a gifted teacher, I learned today.  Wow!  Right here in Greater Downtown Oysterville!



1 Comment

  1. Deborah L Wells

    Great story and I agree Eric is gifted as a teacher and artist also! Fun!!


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