Monday, February 7, 2011

trying new things and facing fears... painting

I have wanted to paint for a long time.  Ages ago I asked a painter friend if we could get together and paint.  She hadn't done any painting herself for a long time and I hadn't ever painted and wanted a little help getting started.  Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, our painting get togethers never materialized.  She did give me some advice and suggestions to get started, though.  I bought some supplies (and pilfered some from Matthias), but I never did start on my own.  That was at least 3 years ago. 

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.

8 comments:

  1. I really like what you've created here. I always learn the most from experimenting and having fun with the paint. And letting the paint teach me.

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  2. I really like the circles painting. I like the way that I can see movement in the circles. The more you paint the more you will learn. Confidence will come with practice. An open mind is all you need!!!

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  3. Cool playing! :)
    What size is the last one? The scrapbooker in me fantasized of adding rub ons, buttons and flowers to the rectangles. :D

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  4. I am so happy for you that you pushed past the fear, signed up for this class, enjoyed it AND created some beautiful paintings. I imagined those black & white stripes (before colours added) were a forest in the dim light; dense tall pines or similar. It inspired stories in my head.

    Sounds like you & I are both pushing past some fears & doubts with painting and enjoying the experience. Thanks for your support.
    Kat X

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  5. Good for you for stepping out of your box..love your paintings...I am just starting it as well..I love mixed media..started taking some online classes and love it..enjoy this new adventure..

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  6. Good for you Anne! You are off to a great start!! Isn't painting awesome!!!

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  7. Permission to link your blog to mine?

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  8. Thanks for all the encouragement!

    madMad, definitely, and thank you.

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