At Ludlow Art Society's March meeting we were entertained by John Palmer RWA who gave a watercolour demonstration. I had some knowledge of his work from a book he wrote on Drawing and Sketching in which he displayed an impressive variety of techniques in various grapic media and was looking forward to meeting him. I was not disappointed he is a most engaging and entertaining character and dashed off three watercolours during the course of the evening. John's artistic skills were sharpened during his 32 years as a designer producing commercial artwork to tight deadlines. To survive in that environment you have to develop the facility to handle a range of media and work quickly and to see someone display such skill is awesome.
But does the skill demonstrated in such bravura displays rub off onto us the observers? I don't think it does, in fact after watching John for 10 minutes I became filled with enthusiasm and would have loved to have grabbed the brush from his and to have a go myself. The next day with the performance just a memory, the enthusiasm and excitement has gone. It doesn't come back unless you get a brush in your hand and start to work for yourself.