Thursday, April 28, 2016

All About Davilla; Watercolorist and CZT

Hi, Everyone! 

I wanted to take the opportunity today to introduce one of our new independent instructors here at the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin, Davilla Harding.   

Davilla is an exceptionally talented watercolorist and Zentangle artist -- as well as a certified Zentangle instructor, or CZT -- with many years of teaching experience who we are excited to say will be offering her extensive knowledge to our customers beginning with her first class in May. I'm going to share a bit of her bio with you, as well as a brief interview that she was awesome enough to do.  

First and foremost, a bit about her classes! During the first watercolor class, starting May 12th, students will be painting Plumeria. I love how she talks about watercolor; she talks about making the paint 'dance' with light and color, and she really means it! Her paintings are so incredibly vibrant and engaging. Isn't this gorgeous?

As of this moment, Davilla is scheduled to teach 4 different watercolor classes -- two floral pieces and two still life -- and 2 Zentangle classes. Each of these classes is 4 sessions long, with one class per week. 

Davilla is not only talented and engaging, but truly a lovely person. We are so very excited to have her joining us. But don't take my word for it; she'll be in the store demonstrating her technique this Saturday the 30th at 12:00pm. Come say hello, get to know her and get your name on that class list! Space is limited...I've already got my name down! **Psst, her first Zentangle class is in June, make sure you get your name down for that one soon, too!

 Her art has been shown in a number of exhibits and can be found in collections all over the country. Davilla's artwork has been published and she has won numerous awards, which is hardly surprising given her talent! Here's what she had to say during our recent Q&A when I peppered her with questions about her background:

Q: How long have you been on Oahu? What brought you here? 
A: I have lived on Oahu a little over 3 years.  It was a natural for me to move here as Hawaii has always been considered a "second home" by several of my family members.  My mother was the first to come here in the early 1930s when she graduated from college.  Being part of a military family, we lived many places around the world, but my mother (and any other family members who cared to join her) often traveled back to visit Hawaii whenever there was an opportunity

Q: How long have you been painting? Did you start with watercolor, or did you start with a different medium?
A: I have been painting with watercolor since I first walked into a watercolor workshop in 2005, and an instructor was giving a demonstration.  It was "love at first" as I saw the watercolors  dance across the watercolor paper with their beautiful translucence.  I like to say that was the day that watercolor "discovered" me.

Q: How about zentangle? When did you first start tangling? What inspired you to try it out? 
A: My love for the art of Zentangle came about 5 years later when I first saw a large painting which combined watercolor and the "tangles" of Zentangle.  I subsequently took a workshop on this art technique.

Q: The process of getting certified as a zentangle instructor is not an easy or fast one. What made you decide to pursue it? 
A: As people saw my Zentangle art, they wanted me to teach them this wonderful art technique. However, as you know, you must be a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) in order to teach this art method.  I attended the required seminar for certification in Rhode Island and have been so pleased to be able to share this wonderful art form!

Q: I know that you were a school teacher for many years. What inspired the transition from teaching children, to painting, to teaching adults to paint? 
A: When I retired from 31 years of teaching, I wanted to continue to pursue creative, productive activities.  That is when I walked into my first watercolor class as described above.  For me, passing along the beauty of watercolor and/or Zentangle is the perfect "marriage" of 2 different disciplines/arts!

Q: If you had to pick three things, what are the most important lessons that you want your students to take from your watercolor classes? 
A: This is a wonderful question!  I always have many different goals and objectives for the classes I teach, but primarily I want the participants to achieve the following:
1.  Learn the basic principles of design and composition so they can develop into independent artists
2.  Discover the "magic" of watercolor as they learn to let the watercolor  paint itself and/or experience the meditative art form of Zentangle.
3.  And most especially, have FUN as they create!

Q: What are you most looking forward to about teaching at Ben Franklin? 
A: I'm looking forward to [teaching] at Ben Franklin as it such a wonderful "hub" for creative people to come and find numerous possibilities and methods for their individual art expression! I've already enjoyed meeting the dedicated and devoted staff who are committed to helping the customers "discover" their own artistic journey!

  For more information on upcoming classes, feel free to look for me or talk to any of our awesome associates at the registers. Oh, and if you want to hear a funny story, ask Davilla or myself about fate playing a hand in her joining the team.

To check out more of Davilla's amazing artwork, visit her webpage at

Thanks for reading! 

Chelsea @ Mapunapuna

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