We don’t mention names of the passengers in our floating art class at sea to maintain privacy. But experiences can be shared without using names. Our sessions on "Colour and Its Magic" have Themes. One theme is “Sunsets”.
One artist's interpretation of a sunset
Where better than at sea can you witness sunsets? However the classes are in the mid-morning, so what to do? “Just use the primary and secondary colours you see at sunset and away you go”, we tell the students. “Yes, you may use green for those rare occasions of a green flash." At first this seems like an impossible task for those who need to see in front of them what they are about to paint. After all, it’s not only daytime but has to be done on a blank paper or canvas. So it requires 100% imagination.
Here is another artist's interpretation of a sunset
I remember many years ago when convalescing during a lengthy illness in a sanatorium in Holland (where I began my career in art), doctors, nurses, and other patients asked, “Why don’t you paint a sunset?”. My reply was, “They go too quickly”. They still do. The results of using the palette of the sun’s departure will always be different moment to moment because each sunset is, and will be, different.
Years later, when I was released and worked “en plein air”, my father asked the same question, and my answer was the same.
Back to our our floating art class at sea, with 10-30 students, each of the results for this Theme are different. Of course there will always be someone who wants something else as a Theme. I remember one woman telling me, “I feel like doing something else. This theme of sunsets does not light my fire.” So we asked, “What then would you wish to paint today?” “Landscapes”, she replied. “Well, I am sorry”, I said, “but you are in the wrong place. We are at sea.” So you understand what I meant about anecdotes and privacy. You can still tell them without revealing a name.
Henri van Bentum