Marc Castelli Leads WRUS Students In Watercolor Workshop

Making his second visit in as many years, Kent County resident and noted watercolor artist Marc Castelli led a workshop in creating watercolor landscapes for art students of Wye River Upper School.  WRUS Director of Art and Technology James Martinez did not need to ask his friend, as Castelli had extended the offer last year before he even left the building.

“This is a very special opportunity for our students, to learn from a true master of his craft,” notes Martinez.  “Painting with watercolors can be very challenging, it requires planning and concentration.  An artist new to this media certainly learns to step up to a new challenge.”

Before he chose to cultivate his career as an artist, Castelli was himself a teacher. “Once many of the students got over initial anxieties and put brush and paint to paper there was no looking back and the results speak for themselves.  I appreciated that they hung in there for three hours of my talking, painting on their paintings and their willingness to listen to what I had to say.”    Wye River Upper School supports the strengths and needs of bright students with learning differences, including ADHD, dyslexia and Aspergers.  Demonstrating knowledge, perspective and skill through art and technology is a major focus in the school’s curriculum.

Martinez and art teacher Kimberleigh Nichols led pre-workshop instruction in creating perspective through drawing and color.  The students took digital photographs during recent camping trips and outings, to capture a variety of landscape scenes.  Their favorite shots were translated in watercolors with Castelli’s seasoned instruction.  His focus echoed WRUS instruction on how to use color to create space. WRUS junior Haleigh Willis, a resident of Calvert County, makes the eastbound trip to Wye Mills on a daily basis.  Her photo of a waterside scene in Bozman was fodder for her watercolor.

Students were asked to write an Artist’s Statement to describe the technical and emotional qualities of their work.  The original paintings were showcased during the recent WRUS Wine Tasting, a fundraiser for financial aid, held at the Talbot Country Club.