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Exploring the watercolor world

KEESEVILLE - Ann Pember has been painting in watercolor since her days attending the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in the 1960s. However, one thing she hasn't done with her talent in that time is share it from the comfort of her own home - until now.

Pember will be opening the doors of her own creative workspace, Water Edge Studio, Sunday, July 18, inviting aspiring artists to learn about the wonders of watercolor and to sign up for painting workshops to be taught from her home.

"This is a first," said Pember. "I've done workshops locally, but I haven't done them at home."

While Pember has spent several years conducting workshops across the country, she recently decided to paint at home more and travel less.

"I was doing four or five [workshops] a year, but I'm now leaving it at just two or three," she said. "I thought I'd try some at home to see how they felt."

The open studio next week will be a way to do just that, and to also celebrate the release of her new book on CD, "Make Dynamic Paintings in Watercolor."

"It's been awhile since I wrote the first book, which was in hardcover," said Pember. "I just felt like maybe approaching it in a different way would be useful for people."

The new CD and workshops are ways Pember looks to share her years of painting experience with others, she said. Long before her works were selected for more than 165 national juried exhibitions and won more than 40 awards, Pember was once a budding artist herself, she said. That's why she wants to share words of advice to help people get started on the right artistic path.

"One of the things I suggest is they don't overwhelm themselves with too many materials," said Pember. "Particularly, paint. There are so many kinds of paint out there, and the various companies will take the same pigment and give it different names, which can be confusing."

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