Painting for Pleasure with Scottish Artist Hazel Campbell

Hazel Campbell in New York for ScotWeek 2012

Hazel instructing us on the freedom of color...

To celebrate the “Year of Creative” in Scotland artist Hazel Campbell came to New York during Scotweek this past April. The well known landscape painter from the beautiful southwest countryside of Dumfries and Galloway has a long history of producing great artwork. Our afternoon was no exception.

Hazel spoke to the few invited guests in the intimate setting and instructed or rather inspired us over lunch. Hazel Campbell Paint Supplies in New yorkHer words flowed softly and slowly and  penetrated well beyond the moment. She was so articulate, so purposeful, and so captivating you could not help but listen and learn. Her words explained how important being creative and expressive can be in one’s life. This wasn’t just a simple watercolor exercise, but a life lesson.

Hazel also asked us to explore, use bold color, and encouraged us. She told us a story of her teacher and how even at age ninety he wasn’t finished, he had more to paint. Apparently we all had landscapes to paint.

At times her voice even reminded me of the American iconic painter Bob Ross. And when I thought I made a “mistake,” she let me know it was now just a different painting, a new landscape – perhaps just a happy accident like Bob taught.

We also discussed portrait paintings a style not done in watercolor. She commented how they were once required, but not we can just take a picture with a camera. Painting was meant to be different, so make it different. I agreed and completed my piece. Then, I decided to take out my camera and take a few photos of my fellow newly inspired artists work.

water color painting under hazel campbell

painting by Mike Kaminer

water color painting by Carly Blatt

painting by Carly Blatt


water color painting in class by Hazel Campbell

painting by Charu Suri

watercolor painting in class with Hazel Campbell

painting by Craig Zabransky ...








Between New York City and my travels (including Scotland)  I consider myself blessed. I’ve experienced so much and often have the  opportunity to enjoy the arts  in all forms. Yet what I discovered through the smile and joy felt after leaving the event  is I need to create more. And I learned I need to create in other forms and other mediums. It inspired me and refreshed the mind. Why not try it too – maybe you will find its power and its pure pleasure.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Mindset Tip: Take a lesson with an expert. Sometimes you just don’t learn about the course of study, but much, much more. My brush with watercolor was more than a lesson in painting, but a lesson in life. It was a reminder to try new things and stay creative.

I also want to thank Laura Davidson PR for the invite to attend this wonderful event. And if you want to learn more about the artist, you can check out Hazel Campbell‘s website and gallery online. 



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  • Leah Travels

    Very cool, Craig. I feel so zen after reading this. 

    • craig zabransky

       thanks Leah… I felt so uplifted after it myself. It was a great reminder and experience.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Chris & Tawny

    So cool!  I would love the opportunity to learn how to paint.  So far, I’ve got finger painting down… and that’s being generous. :)

    • craig zabransky

       Saying I have watercolor is way too generous too. But it was great just to let go and create.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Raul

    I do agree that going for new experiences is part of the continuous growth we all should aim for.  And, Craig, you may have a potential new career! :)

    • craig zabransky

       A new career… well perhaps I’ll have one someday, but I am not sure it will be as a painter… thanks for your comment.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Lola

    ok – this is SO cool. you are a Renaissance man, Craig. writing is like painting in so many ways – truly an art. i enjoy dabbling with painting myself.

    • craig zabransky

       I agree writing is like painting in many ways…heck a picture is worth a 1,000 words right?
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • The World Wanderer

    What a great experience!  It’s always a great experience to learn from an expert, and like you said, you learn a lot more than what you are there for.  I’m also quite impressed with your painting, nice work!

    • craig zabransky

       well thank you. and I so agree, moment with experts often teach us much more than one subject… thanks again for your kind words.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Jetting Around

    You practice what you preach, Craig – staying adventurous. This looks like such an enriching experience. You guys did a nice job with the paintings – I really like the colors. :)

    • craig zabransky

       Thanks. And yes, staying adventurous is a way of life… it is what I strive for and moments like this really do capture its essence. thanks for noticing.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • The World of Deej

    I wish I had the least bit of artistic ability to be spurred to try painting. Perhaps that’s the point…I need to get out of the comfort zone…

    • craig zabransky

       I am sure I wish I had your golf swing… to me that is an art harder than most.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Lazy Travelers

    what a cool experience! my mom is a watercolor painter and she would LOVE this. xo! the romantic

    • craig zabransky

       Romantic, definitely look up Hazel’s retreats… they way she described them… I am sure your mother would take interest.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Traveledits

    Looks like good fun Craif, have found cookery lessons in cookery schools to be very rewarding too – tried one in Oaxaca Mexico that was excellent.

    • Traveledits

      I meant ‘Craig’:)

  • Francesca @WorkMomTravels

    Inspiring, for sure! I like how you tied it into your belief in staying adventurous: “stay creative”. Great advice, too, on trying different outlets for our creativity.

  • Travel Rinse Repeat

    Great point about learning far more than the course of study. I’d love to take a lesson from an expert sometime.