The only thing I knew about watercolor was which end of the brush to wet
I didn’t know I could even draw, much less paint, until I was 55 years old.
I have known some successes, raising children alone, starting and running an ad agency for 10 years, owning a quilt shop and so on. My main hobbies/interests enduring throughout my life have been needlework, history/genealogy, and in-depth study of the Bible and Hebrew. I have achieved Master level of Fine Hand Embroidery, specializing in White on White from the 18th – 19th century. I have traced our family back to William the Conquerer and discovered amazing accomplishments of my forefathers. I taught people how the study the Bible for 20 years (classes at night and weekend workshops) and taught myself to read Hebrew and even speak it.
And yet, I didn’t think I was really good at anything and often wondered why I didn’t have a gift, a talent. There has always been a part of me looking for “something” that was missing in my life.
The reason I mentioned all the above is that I believe each contributed to my discovery of my abilities in artwork. They all require attention to detail, context, patience, method, reasoning, questioning, problem solving, communication, perseverance, developing skills, and an overwhelming desire to preserve the past and leave a legacy.
It all came together one evening when I looked at a photograph of my granddaughter and for some reason decided I would “try” to draw it. I have no idea why to this day. I remember thinking, “how do you make the edges of her face disappear” and then questions flooding my brain. Two hours later, I looked up and was amazed so much time had passed. I looked at my drawing and felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone! It was a reasonable drawing of the photo. I was stunned. I thought stick figures were beyond my ability!
I started with pencil, then colored pencil, then watercolor. I especially liked drawing portraits and knew I wanted to figure out how to make them tell a story. I knew nothing technically so I experimented. The only thing I knew about watercolor was which end of the brush to wet!
And so my journey began. After a devastating divorce, I did nothing with my artwork for over 2 years. About 5 years ago with move to a new city, I decided to pick up where I left off. I wanted to try oil painting but didn’t know where to start, but my “training”(see above) kicked in and I started researching and experimenting. There weren’t any classes I knew of in the area so I was on my own. Later I discovered a place to take lessons and eagerly signed up. I was so disappointed – except for the wonderful people, they didn’t really teach me. They just showed how they painted and we were to copy. I wanted to know more. Picture a blank slate! I didn’t even how how much paint to put on which brush!
I was told repeatedly, not to take classes because my ability was inherent, God-given, and to develop my own style. Everyone assumed I knew something about painting which I didn’t. I bought books and read everything I could find. I knew I wanted to paint like the Old Masters but how? Research again! Discovery again! Application again! Okay, thats NOT the way to do it! Again and Again!
How I wish I had known about this course!!!!
Once more, I fell in love with a photograph of a granddaughter. It was taken on her 2nd birthday at barn on her great grandfather’s farm. She was wearing a dress I had made completely by hand but what caught me was her eyes, her hair, her delicacy, the way her hand seemed to be reaching out to me, and the contrast with the old rough boards of the barn. Her name is June Caroline and she is 2! I loved painting this. I had never tried to paint a portrait like this in oils. I had drawn portraits but not painted one. I also have a watercolor of another granddaughter I did at the same time that I especially like and would like for you to critique.
There is so much I want to know and am so excited about this course.
And I want to paint like the Old Masters, with all the passion, richness of detail, stunning colors, contrasts, textures – to make the canvas come alive.