Monday, April 18, 2016

Comfort Zones.

Our instructor - Tony Connor
I spent this weekend in a heady mix, in-and-out of my comfort zone.  I had been strong-armed into joining a two day watercolor workshops by my BFF, Sylvie, and I was sweating bullets when we drove up to the workshop venue early Saturday morning.  I may have had a fine arts education, but it was skeighty-eight years ago, as my neighbor says.  It had been a minimum of 30 years since brush touched paper or canvas.  As a matter of record, my watercolor instructor had said I was way too heavy-handed to ever think about becoming a water colorist, which was why I turned to sculpture.  It's amazing how criticism can cling to you for eons.  But, Sylvie persevered (and provided most of my supplies, not to mention the prospect of having her stay with me for THREE DAYS) and there we were.

Rediscovering color.
It was a very small class, which was both helpful and not - I got way too much attention...I had secretly hoped that I could keep my head down in the back row and blunder away under the instructor's radar.  Not happening with only four students.
No, that's not my painting...
All in all, it wasn't too bad - although by the time it hit 3P on Sunday, Sylvie turned and whispered to me, "I'm afraid to say that all I can think about right now is, when do we get to go home and have a glass of wine?"  Mind meld!!  That's why she's my BFF - because I was thinking the very exact same thing.  In between the sweaty sessions in the workshop, we enjoyed beautiful weather and sat out on the back deck with a glass or two of wine and enjoyed the birdsong.  And the chickens, rooster, sheep, llama, and the dogs that were velcroed to Sylvie.

I don't know that I will work my way up to a reasonable facsimile of a water colorist, but it was a good exercise for my saggy brain cells.  I really enjoyed the color exercises (well, until I compared them to my fellow classmates' work) and I ended up buying one of Tony's beautiful landscapes.  It's hard not to be completely intimidated when your instructor chooses your subject as an example, and whips it out on a canvas in .03 nanoseconds - while you're still all hot and sweaty, busily overworking a minuscule portion of it into mud. 

However, there was a bright spot.  The workshop took place in a beautiful studio on an equally beautiful property containing a B&B and a riding/boarding stable.  How many of you are NOT surprised this weekend involved animals of some sort?  I am going to look into riding lessons (once a month) and try not to be haunted by the close proximity of the scene of my painting humiliations (in my mind).


Mama Pea said...

No matter what we're doing in the process, anything that gets the saggy brain cells of us skeighty-eight year olds toned up can't be all bad.

I happen to know that you are extremely talented in any creative endeavor you tackle (double poo on that watercolor instructor of many years ago -- he must have been related to my oil painting instructor who told me I had a small amount of ability but only painted "calendar art").

As for the riding lessons, uh-oh. I can see it now. Do you have room on your acreage for a horse?

Michelle said...

Good for you and Sylvie!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Back off! The title and distinction of being The World's Worst Watercolour Artist belongs to ME! I bet you don't even come close, you wannabe.

Susan said...

Mama Pea - Double poo is right. Luckily, having once owned a horse, I realize that a) I am not landed enough nor b) am I monied enough to have one at this time. Ratz and double ratz.

Susan said...

Michelle - It was a very fun weekend; especially the company!

Susan said...

DSWS - Oh, yeah? I will see your worst-est and raise you a worst-er. Do I hear a paint-off in the future...? :)

Sue said...

I'm always so happy for people that find that special pal.
And I won't take an art class, because from what I've seen, the people that take them DON"T NEED THEM. I would feel like a kindergartner with that first set of prang paints.

Fiona said...

I am entering the worstest contest....may we see your painting in a future post?
Ralph and I try to learn news things all the time....some sink in to the quagmire we call our brains and some are the proverbial water off a ducks back! I am glad you had fun!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Good for you stretching yourself!

Sandy Livesay said...


My thought, live life to it's fullest.....and try everything. You picked up that paint brush and painted after many years. I say forget about your old teacher, and thrive with the new one :-)
The best part of your watercolor class, going with your dear friend Sylvie. I say that's a!!!