I walked in to my first painting lesson, and I was nervous.
The idea of oil painting was completely foreign to me, but it was a time when I needed something new. My youngest had gotten his drivers license, so my days of chauffeuring had ended. I'd taken some steps back from the National Writing Project, so I was missing having that creative outlet. Then this opportunity came along. There was an announcement one Sunday morning that a lady in our church, Cheri, was offering a 6 week painting course. I remember whispering to Ron, "I'd love to try something like that one day when I have time." He looked at me and said, "You have time now."
So... I bought the 5 tubes of paint, the 9"x 12" canvas board, the easel, and whatever else was on the list. I gathered my supplies (and my courage) and went to my first painting class.
I sat on the front row in the middle. I so wanted to be successful, but I had very little confidence in my artistic abilities.
Cheri said, "I want to teach you to see things differently."
She told us which paints to use, which ones to mix. It made no sense, but I did it.
She said to mix orange (of all crazy things) to the blue to keep the sky from being garish. It didn't understand, but I obeyed.
She explained how to make "sky holes" by putting the blue in the tree.
I copied her.
... And... almost like magic... trees appeared on my canvas! I'd painted trees! And they looked like trees! I was so proud of that painting. I still am.
As we were planning the painting weekend at Welcome Home Retreat, I told Cheri that I'd paint whatever she planned, but I really hoped we'd paint a tree. She didn't forget.
So... it's been 10 years... I've done 348 paintings...
I'm still amazed every time a painting turns out like it's supposed to.
I still get frustrated when a painting isn't turning out like it's supposed to.
I have learned that every painting goes through an ugly stage and that I have to trust that it will eventually come together.
I have so much still to learn, but I have much to celebrate as an artist.
Happy Art-Birthday to me!