Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Live and Learn.....

I have been going once a week to the local art center for a 3-hour portrait painting session. It is not a class. Basically, all the art center does is to provide the model and a place for us to paint. This a totally new experience for me, so I began it with the usual 'newbee' anxieties; would I make a fool of myself? Would everyone else be so much better that I would hate it? You know what those feelings are, and if you don't you have not taken enough risks in your life!

The first week, I stared very ambitiously, and did the full model, but I painted it on acrylic paper, with my usual oil paints (being cheap, and not wanting to waste canvas.) Big mistake! The paint soaked into the paper, and made such a mess, I just threw that away. But the model did a second pose, and I did the above head profile on canvas. It was OK. It actually looks like the model, pretty much.

The second week was cancelled, as two houses right across the street from the art center blew up, from a gas leak. So the following week (which was last week) was the second session. I had two of my grandkids here for their spring break, and they went with me. They are terrific, well-behaved kids, so I can't blame my horrible painting on them, but I was distracted by having them there, by the explosion scene, which we'd had to pass to get to the art center (within a mile of my own house), etc. Those are my excuses, anyway, and I'm sticking to them. All that I came away with last week was the above sketch in my sketchbook. My grand-daughter (age 9) did a watercolor from the model, though. I love it! The model had long blond hair, blue eyes, a colorful black dress with bright splotches on it, and some very cool cerulean and gold cowgirl boots on.  She sat on a hot pink armchair. Katie captured all of that!

This morning, the model did 3-4 five minute poses, then kept the same pose for the rest of the morning (with breaks every 20 minutes.) So I decided to try to do a full painting. I used a 15x20" sheet of canvas from a canvas 'tablet.' I think I'm pretty happy with the result; especially  considering that it was done in about two hours.

This has been a fantastic experience, so far. It is great to just jump in there and create something with no expectation: these will not be framed, or exhibited. They are strictly for the experience of looking and learning. Awesome! Why haven't I been brave enough to do this before now?

Yesterday I got back into the studio and at the loom. The "October" tapestry is about to the half-way point. I know.... you'd think I'd be further by now, wouldn't you? But I have been dealing with my second cold in the past two months, I had the kids for a week, and garden work has begun here.  Lots of excuses. (I may not be good at some things, but I'm pretty good at excuses!)

But now I have run out of excuses, so I am heading back to the loom....!


Mary said...

I did some life drawing classes, using charcoal mostly. I can't believe that you have done oil paintings. It must be the experience you have with the oil paints that allows you to know what you are doing, what the paints will do, etc. I don't draw, so the classes were a challenge! But I agree that they are well worth it. I have some really awful pieces that have made wonderful compost and I have a few pieces that I have kept. No-one else would think they are good but I know how much I advanced in those classes and they represent something that I had never done before. Keep on with the challenges. It is good to be doing something for yourself which is not for any other reason than to enhance your skills and provide some mental stimulation (or is that relaxation?).

Sparroweye said...

All art is connected. If you make tapestries you are in the spectrum. My daughter was told in grade school by a horrible supposed to be art teacher. The elephant should not be purple. Since that day she has always said, I am not artistic. But yet she makes designs on paper everywhere. Graphic designs. I took a drawing class. I loved it. The teacher challenged me to go deeper. One day we drew a boot. One day a boy in the class posed for us. I love portraits. My mother was an oil portrait artist. I just love to draw. No labels.

K Spoering said...

Mary, I have some compostable 'art' as well! I think I paint in these sessions instead of draw, because a big loaded brush covers more territory than a pencil or charcoal does. Most of the other artists draw, though. Those tiny little lines scare me, which I guess is funny, given the tiny little threads I weave with!