A gentle sigh escaped my lips as sat out on the patio with the rest of my art class listening as our beautiful teacher read through the instructions for our latest project.
Hearing it, she stopped and laughed. ”I know that sigh” she said with a big smile. ”You will be fine, you always are”
Others in the class also chimed in with positive comments for they know me and the way I always start a new project with a touch of panic.
It can feel a little overwhelming as I sit there, trying to decipher the technical terms. Trying to remember what constitutes warm, cool and mid tones. And it can take me a little time to process and feel comfortable with the task ahead.
From the previous week’s drawing exercise, we knew we were going to do portraits, but I wasn’t 100% happy with my attempt. In fact, I am not even sure I was 50% happy but it was done and was the starting point for what was to come next.
The task – To paint the portrait in the Fauve style.
Yes, take something already really daunting for me and just turn it up a notch.
First step, find the right size canvas from a choice of two. I went with the smaller, for various reasons. The cost, although only a few dollars, a factor given my reservations about the challenge.
The smaller one, I thought, was a good fit too. I don’t mind the subject taking most of the surface area although one of the teachers wasn’t as convinced as I was. (Held my ground, my painting and my money I am paying out here)
“Start with darks, start with washes” was the brief and being brave (or crazy) I painted the face in shades of green.
He looked like the “Incredible Hulk”
Adjusted his shoulder, fiddled with the eyes and hat.
The snake has started off orange. I doubt it will end that way.
In fact, I doubt the finished product will look (colourwise) anything much like what I bought home last night.
We have two more weeks on this. Two weeks to fix his ear, nose, eyes and mouth. Two weeks to add his smile lines, bring some detail to his coat and hat and some life to the snake.
Two weeks to learn to love it.
I know if I didn’t find the classes challenging, if I didn’t have that feeling of panic which gradually morphs into a fabulous feeling of achievement, I wouldn’t still be doing them.
I bitch and moan and talk to myself as I paint providing great entertainment to the others around me. I resist and argue, with the teacher and myself before finally coming to a sense of truce and occasionally I even fall in love with one of the projects.
This one I don’t love yet. Not even sure I will.
And hubby’s reaction?
“Looks ok, but the snake was a black headed python”
Guess that means I am not going to get away with leaving it orange.