Do Something For You
I was never very artsy when I was growing up. I always wanted to draw, but when I would try I couldn’t get what would come out of my hand to match the image in my head. It was pretty frustrating for this perfectionist. After college and earning an engineering degree, I moved to a pretty artistic community and I decided I would finally take an art class. I actually took several, trying various mediums. Oil, acrylic, watercolor…I tried them all. My first instructor who taught the oils class, took my tiny brushes away from me and hollered at me for trying to get such precise details. “Bah! Forget these little brushes!", she exclaimed in her thick accent. "Big brushes! You should use big strokes and not paint these little, itty-bitty lines!”
She made me look at an object (in this case it was a pear), only concentrating on each square inch at a time and painting what I saw. If it was dark, then paint dark and if it was light, then paint light. Then move on to the next square until the scene unfolded on paper in front of me. It was hard to not control the details and get them just right. But in the process, I learned to let go and not be bothered if things weren’t perfect. In learning to paint the fruit that I saw, I actually saw more. I observed more and took away the overall feeling that something gave me instead of getting lost in the details. I not only became a better artist, but a better observer.
It's been a very long time since I took a painting class, but a friend of mine who is an accomplished artist is teaching an acrylic class later this month in her town. I have long admired her style and technique and since I haven't busted out my paints yet here at home like I had planned to, I will be joining her. I'm excited and nervous (I always wonder if what I create will look like a kindergarten created it) and looking forward to a creative weekend. Take time to do something for yourself this month!