Three artists who have studied with gail have written the following concerning her teaching. The first is Maggie Tucker. Maggie is a public school art teacher at Brentwood Middle School, Brentwood, Tennessee. Maggie has a B.A. in Fine Arts, with an emphasis in watercolor, and has been teaching for years. The second time Maggie enrolled, the summer of 2004, to study with gail and to again satisfy her Continuing Education Requirements, she e-mailed gail and mentioned the critiques as the reason for coming back. She said she appreciated and needed the critiques that gail did at the end of each class. After studying the summer of 2004, Maggie continued to take gail’s classes, studying with her on Tuesday evenings. December 2, 2004 Maggie e-mailed Ken (gail’s husband) the following:
- “Ken—you and gail can’t possibly realize how profoundly she has affected my life. In participating in the learning process weekly I have become a better teacher to my students; a better artist; and a more loving adult. (It’s weird, but I don’t notice the dust bunnies as much when I’m immersed in my work.)”
- “Plus, I get the extra benefit of spreading the joy around, when I give people my work.”
- “So, tell gail I’m grateful for her participation, but more than that, grateful for her.”
- “In addition to everything else, gail is truly a ‘Teacher of Teachers!'”
Two artists from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bev Sislby and Katie Beason wrote the following. They are two sisters who asked gail to teach the Albuquerque Workshop which they produced, marketed and directed in their city April 4-8, 2005. The following are quotes from material they wrote promoting their Workshop:
- “gail does things you may have never seen before! She encourages you to use these techniques YOUR way to expand YOUR style.”
- “Creativity is the theme and to better YOUR own style is the goal.”
- “…..she will assist and critique and encourage. She is sneaky good!”
- “gail can get more color out of watercolor than you can imagine. She is literal, impressionist and abstract. How can that be, you ask? We don’t know.”
- In the context of discussing gail teaching the ‘Disappearing Purples’ technique Bev and Katie wrote: “If you like the oil technique of painting the darks first, you are going to be impressed. If you like the look of transparency, you are going to be blessed.”
- “If YOU want to learn to let go and use YOUR own style. This is for you.”
November 4, 2008 gail was invited by the Williamson County School System, Franklin, Tennessee, to present a Professional Development Workshop to their elementary visual art teachers.
“Her sensitivity creates art, her empathy creates artists.”
Bonnie King, one of gail’s students
“You make painting in watercolor so much fun because you make us all believe we can do it.”
Linda Curb, to gail, describing her teaching style.
“She is so patient with us beginners, that it really makes things a lot less intimidating than it might otherwise be.”
Robert Jones whose first watercolor painting experience was as a beginning student with gail in May of 2006.
“You push us in such a sweet nurturing way it makes us want to do better”
Anne Kaderabek a longtime Tuesday evening student.
“You are so talented and so good at sharing your talent! The day I met you was a SUNNY day for me! Thanks so much for your efforts! You do such a wonderful job!”
Cheryl Adams-Zanewicz, LaGrange, Kentucky, who has taken three of gail’s Workshops.
“My whole life I have dreamt about being an artist… I never believed I could live that dream, one painting at a time. Because of my workshops with you, your mentoring and support – it is happening.”
Suzy Foy, Estes Park, Colorado, who has taken nine of gail’s Workshops.
I have been a student of gail’s for a number of years. I work full time in a business setting and need an artistic outlet to balance my life. gail has been that wonderful teacher that ALWAYS inspires me and continues to show me something new, or maybe something I forgot, with each lesson. I attend her Tuesday evening class and also enjoy the special three day workshops she offers at different locations.
Classes and interaction with gail are a positive, happy and supportive encounter for me. I find that I need and enjoy the interaction of a teacher. Trying to watch classes on line or from a DVD does not work for me. When I hold my watercolor paintings up to my computer screen nothing happens. When I show my work to gail, a wonderful conversation can begin. gail is an amazing artist in her own right and can help you with a plethora of techniques and ideas. For those of you who want to escape into the world of art for a few hours a week you must try gail’s Mcdaniel’s live watercolor class!
Marie Hayman, Nashville, Tennessee
“You probably don’t hear it often enough, but I really appreciate the wonderful foundation you have given me, and how you keep pushing me on.
Leah Foote, long time student from Clarksville, Tennessee
“I’ve been taking a watercolor class for about six months from gail Mcdaniel, a wonderful teacher who magically brings out the best in you. I’m still very much a beginner, and the first time I took her class I almost ran out the door at the end, when she had everyone bring their work up to critique. Now it’s my favourite part, not only to get great constructive criticism, but to see what everyone else is doing. There are beginners in the class (“newbies”, as gail calls us), and people who sell their art, and everyone in between.
Today I finally tried to paint a red rose. I painted from a photo I took last year. I still have to put in a background, but I think I like this one. She’s a very talented artist, and in addition to teaching tons of people in Nashville and all over the world, she does commissions and beautiful work herself.”
Painting a Red Rose in Watercolor
Elisha Zander, Busy Mom’s Journal, Painting a Red Rose in Watercolor
“gail McDaniel is not only an accomplished and consummate artist, but also an excellent TEACHER! Though these two talents do not always mesh, gail’s obvious enjoyment of watercolor painting is contagious. She assumes no knowledge on the part of her students which enables those new to watercolor to easily capture techniques and avoiding frustration, while still giving well-studied artists guidance to take their art to the next level. The subject matter is carefully chosen to keep everyone engaged and gail’s demonstrations enables the students, regardless of level of experience, to enjoy the process and build on previous classes. However, one of the best parts of each class is gail’s end-of-day critiques. By this process we as students learn from each other as well as from gail. A wonderful teacher and a fun group of students – a successful formula for a great class.”
Judith Newby, Nashville, Tennessee
“I’ve worked with a lot of artists who were great artists but not great instructors and with great instructors who were not great artists, gail is both a great artist and a wonderful instructor. She takes the fear out of watercolor painting for students who may be timid.”
To quote Bruce Baker, MFA, Manager Plaza Artist Materials, Nashville, Tennessee
BRENDA BRANNON RECIEVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Subject : Exciting news from Brenda Brannon
Date : Sun, 14 Oct 2001 20:15:16 -0500
It’s hard to believe that it has been about two years since i studied with you in Brentwood. I wanted to share my recent success with you.
Late August i entered a watercolor in the 2002 Easter Seals Art Competition. I received a letter from Easter Seals last Friday which read, in part: “It is my pleasure to inform you that your lily rendering has been selected by Easter Seals for use as one of the six 2002 Easter seals. The Easter seals will be distributed to nearly 15 million households nationwide in February.” The goes on to say that my art will be framed and placed on display at the national headquarters in Chicago. They have also asked for a photo of me and a biography to put on their website early next year.
The instruction I received from you was crucial in making my winning entry “come alive”. Thank you.
I hope that your classes and workshops are well attended. You never know who your next success story will be!
Subject: Another Easter Seals Success!
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 21:47:25 -0600
I wanted to share the good news with you that one of my watercolors has been chosen by Easter Seals to become one of the six 2003 Easter Seals. It is very exciting to have achieved this honor two years in a row. The 2003 Easter Seals will be distributed nationwide in February. If you’d like to see my work from last year along with a short bio, you can visit Easter Seals at this site:
For the new painting I used a very limited palette of Antwerp Blue, New Gamboge, and Rose Madder Genuine for the main body of the work along with tiny bits of Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna. I also used French Ultra with Alizarin Crimson for those “disappearing purples”. As I recall, “disappearing purples” was the last project I worked on when I was studying with you three years ago. I’ve used it in several projects since. Once again, you’ve contributed to my success!
I’m hoping that, despite my busy schedule as a portrait photographer I’ll have the opportunity to study with you again sometime next year. I’d love to try some new techniques. You always have something fun and interesting to share with your students!
August 15th, 1998
I’m writing this to thank you for your friendship and instruction over the past year. I know that the name I make for myself in the future will have your signature at the bottom – and I want you to know that I am grateful not only for the technical instruction and guidance, but for the unselfish devotion to the promotion of art which I find in you. I have encountered many teachers in my life, and only the rarest have been willing to impart knowledge without reserve. I have walked away feeling as if they were only willing to show me the tip of the iceberg – as if I must pay my dues of painful trial and error in order to gain access to the sacred inner sanctum. They do not understand the laws of prosperity – and that by helping others to find prosperity they will in turn be granted it. You on the other hand have that seemingly innate sense that allows you to give freely of what you know or have experienced.
I address all this because it is what makes you a great teacher rather than a good one. I’m sure that Robert Henri (who??!!) intended for his philosophies to become absorbed and passed on from generation to generation, and you are the kind of teacher I am certain he envisioned as filling those shoes.
I am your grateful student and friend, (though you’ll never hear me admit that publicly…)
Greg, a manager of several horse barns, came to gail in the Summer of 1997. Greg had just started painting in watercolors and had seen a show of gail’s paintings. He told gail that he wanted to learn what she knew about color, as he could already draw beautifully. Greg studied intensely with gail for a year and worked very hard. Greg was a most unusual student in that gail could tell him something one time and it was his. With his own creative ability, he used what he wanted and ignored the rest. In August of 1998, he moved to Estes Park, Colorado. He is now a full time watercolor painter and instructor represented by galleries in the South and Southwest. He has travelled to Europe painting and selling his work along the way. He has just illustrated two book jackets, one, HORSES NEVER LIE, published in April 2000. In less than four months, it became the number one best selling horse book on amazon.com. The September 2000 issue of Western Horseman, the #1 horse magazine in the U.S., did a feature article on Greg. He was juried into the 8th Annual Colorado Watercolor Society Show.
I just want to say thank you again for giving me a deeper understanding of color. Thankfully, I won’t be creating as much mud as having to scratch too much. I think I may be getting it.