"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm a Painter?

I am friends with a painter...actually a few of them....but this one particular friend, managed to cleverly loop me into becoming a painter with her. That's the kind of friends, folks, that you really want. And now, thanks to her I am a part of a painter's group that meets weekly at my church. So far, we're all ladies (mostly retired types with years of art experience and gallery knowledge and framing expertise, etc. etc.) but all friendly, all wanting to improve and all fans of good company and a nice chat while the paint flies. Most of them manage to take classes to better themselves on technique, learn who the local masters are and tweak their skill set. I can't do that right now...duty to small children calls...but neither can my friend (another young mom).

So what's an artsy mommy to do? Join the painter group on Tuesday mornings! That's what. These ladies laugh together, share supplies, tip each other off about local sales on canvases and swap opinions about the latest art work being shown in area galleries. At first (okay, the first few weeks) I was intimidated and felt totally out of my element but, somehow, keeping on...I broke through my nerves and managed to realize how warm these clever ladies were, how deeply full of knowledge and how unprecedented  the whole opportunity really was. Let me give you a little rundown:
  • Its at my own church which is only about 10 minutes from my house.
  • There is childcare downstairs while we paint.
  • There is lunch served afterwards.
  • These women know gobs more than I could glean from a class, even if I could take one at the moment.
  • In addition to being good painters, they're older women who have raised children, been wives and lived in this area their whole lives.
Does it get better than that?

I have never thought of myself as a painter, although certainly, an artist albeit no professional. I am now dipping my toe in watercolors. I am intrigued by the fact that my grandpa was a watercolor artist and I love the light filled look of watercolor work. I have spent years sketching and drawing with pen and ink and pencil and have been scared of both color and paint...how the medium moves around on the page, the new level of complexity color adds to a piece, and all the techniques that introducing both would require. Its easy to get paralyzed by intimidation...at least if you're me. (are you sensing a theme)

But, I'm over it. At least, I'm over the immobilizing part. I'm part of the group...I'm a painter...I'm working on watercolors...and this week I tackled my first attempt ever at portraiture in watercolor. Its disproportionate and problematic but, its better than a first try could have been and the gaggle of painter grandmas was so incredibly encouraging that I'm undaunted. What's a slightly wonky painting for besides breaking the ice and getting me going?

I have been told to look up watercolor pencils as they might help smooth the way between color, paint and drawing and give me a little more control over my work as I learn. I am already dreaming of snapping up a set the next time I'm in the fabulous art supply basement that is entirely too close to my house.

But, yeah....who knew? I'm a painter!



  1. That's so cool! I too feel intimidated by labels like "artist" but I think if you can just do it and enjoy it and not worry about being perfect, that's the greatest part.

  2. Are you having an incredibly good time, or what?!! I LOVE the Chicken Lady!

  3. Thanks ladies! I am really looking forward to more forays into this world...I love becoming new in some different way.

  4. I agree! I'm all for growing, and this post was inspiring. Way to not let intimidating and perfectionism get in the way of your explorations! Looking forward to seeing more...