Gartside, Mary
An Essay on Light and Shade, on Colours, and on Composition in General — London, 1805

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AMONG the ladies I.have been called to instruct in painting, by far the
greater number have been desirous of beginning immediately to paint, whether
proficients in drawing or not, and sometimes without any knowledge of the
theory or principles of the art: by which means, as a celebrated painter ex-
presses it, they have been left to themselves, " like mariners putting to sea
" without helm and compass," so ignorant what course to take, that some in
despair have desisted from the undertaking, and others have made much less
progress than they might have done from the want of such knowledge.

I likewise have had my distress, from having been aware of the conse-
quences, though not presuming to offer my opinion unasked: but I have
always recommended the true road to perfection in the art to the best of
my knowledge, when it was left to myself to guide a pupil into the road that
leads to it.

I shall only say that those ladies who study the rules of the art, secure a
never-ceasing source of pleasure to themselves,, which is always at their own

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