Saturday, November 3, 2007

My introduction to painting

Rosemary McDermott
early 1950's

Except that these photos were taken before my time, in Nassau or Bermuda, this is where, how and with whom I first learned to paint — sometime around the age of five. It's an understatement to say that I'm glad my father took these pictures and that they've survived.

Down the shore, in Longport, New Jersey, my mother would settle us at the water's edge. After handing me a piece of watercolor paper, we'd walk into the water till the foamy waves ran around our ankles. "Now... let's get our paper wet!" she'd say and plunge her paper into the salt water and out again, quickly. So, I did, too!

Back on our bottoms with brush and color, she'd make her seascapes and tell me to practice my strokes.  I made pages and pages of colorful brush strokes. I never saw the point, really. Until I started teaching.

Now I repeat the phrase over and over again to students of my own. Practice your strokes!

Photos: Edwin J. McDermott, c. late 1940's-early 1950's

1 comment:

Sharon Quinn said...

I didn't realize you literally meant the ocean ! It was a wonderful analogy as well as delightful story!