Fast forward to this past November. I signed up for Art Every Day Month and was motivated to do some watercolors. That was such an encouraging and kind atmosphere and I had a lot of fun and learned a lot just by experimenting. What I really wanted to do, too, was start painting with acrylics, but, again, I never got around to it. I know that the big reason behind my putting off painting was fear. Painting is really scary. I know that might sound lame, but it is. A blank canvas holds so much promise, but there's a lot of pressure there, too. I knew from painting with watercolors that I would sometimes be so tense and nervous while painting, holding my breath as I concentrated on not "messing up." And then I'd let the process and enjoyment take over. Getting past that fear was so hard.
The other day I mentioned that I'd signed up for an online painting class. Last week the class started. I was excited and a bit scared. And then amazed when the first assignment was to make a quilt-like painting! What a great transition from my fabric art to the art of painting. One of the main points of the class is just to paint. And that's just what I need. A little extra motivation as well as encouragement. I've learned a lot so far, too, both from the process of painting and from the class material as well. For the first week's assignment I was on roll and painted three paintings.
The first one was made up of simple squares.
It was a lot of fun to do. I wanted to do something more with it, so I let it sit. Each day it got harder to consider going back and tinkering with it. In the meantime I started another painting. This one with circles.
I did go back to this one.
I really like how it turned out.
Finally, before bed one night I had a painting idea pop into my head. Kind of a silly idea, actually. It was to paint black stripes on a white canvas. Well, that turned out to be harder than I'd thought it would be and so I played with black and white paint and a little bit of blue.
I love mixing colors and barely mixing colors and watching the paint interact on the canvas. These were not at all my favorite colors and I thought the end result was a rather boring painting. I went back to it a day or two later and added some colors.
Not sure that I like it, but I learned a lot while painting it and it was so much fun playing with those colors.
It was a good first week and I'm glad I just kept painting and didn't give in to discouragement (even when I did feel a bit discouraged along the way). Mati and Lisa are really good teachers and are so encouraging. I'd liked their art before starting the class (Mati's newsletter is the reason I even knew about it), so I was excited to have them as teachers. They're even better than I had hoped. The other students are all so supportive and encouraging, too. And really talented. It's a bit intimidating, but also a good push to have so many other great artists in the class.