Sunday, June 6, 2010

How This Whole Thing Started

Six years ago, I read a magazine article about losing your marbles (i.e. getting dumber). In the article they mentioned ways to regain your brain function by learning a new skill.(i.e. getting smarter). It said if you want to keep your mind sharp, you need to learn something new and challenging - specifically, learn a foreign language, learn how to play a musical instrument, or learn how to paint. I chose learning how to paint. Because, I've seen some pretty crappy stuff out there so how hard can it be?

very first oil painting ever

I signed up for beginning painting classes at the local art center. At 39, I was the youngest student there. Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed a little brain function decline.
My teacher had us paint our first painting with only blue and white. This cube cylinder thingy is my very first oil painting ever. Isn't it SWEET!

second painting ever

The next assignment was to paint a still life. This is my lovely teapot with food. Dig my groovy shadows. I was so proud.

third painting that I want to burn

Then we got to paint whatever we wanted. I was trying to be Christie Repasy but it didn't turn out so hot. I want to burn this one but my monkeys won't let me. So I hide it in the closet.

fourth painting ever, first portrait ever

Then, I took a portrait painting class taught by the very talented Sarah Clemens. I would link to her site but it has nudes and I have children who read this. I don't know why this pic is grainy but if you click on it you can see it larger and it is really smooth and perfect. I can't believe this is my very first portrait. It took me eight weeks and is a 10x14. Wow was I surprised! Especially after seeing the first three pieces. Everyone started telling me they didn't know I could paint. Well I didn't know either! Isn't that the most beautiful surprise you could ever find out about yourself!

second portrait ever

Then my dear friend passed away and I was so distraught that I painted this for her family. I cruised through this in 2 weeks. It really helped me heal and I learned why painters love to paint. It is like a drug, but cheaper (barely) and legal.

third portrait

This one was so fun to do. But it took me three months. I love the details. She is an angel. I also found out I loved to paint fingers.

fourth portrait

I started this one but quit. It is very unfinished and now that my boy is all graduated and everything I probably should finish it and start a new one. I want to start a tradition of painting Senior portraits for my monkeys.

fifth portrait

Then I did this crazy monster for the Church Art Competition. Of course I didn't get in but I had a growth experience with it. It took me three months. My favorite part is the comforter on the right hand side. So real. I stare at it every time I walk by it. Having art in your home is wonderful, but when it is meaningful and it's your own kid, it's just amazing.

sixth portrait, ninth painting ever

Love, love , love this one! The lighting, the composition, the details, the flowers... the long time it has taken me to complete it. Just kidding about that loving the long time to complete it part. It is actually not done but I framed it anyways. Sometimes you have to call it good enough and move on. I know when I clean house that's what I do.

There you have it. My little story of "How I Became a Painter". I really do think I have gotten a bit smarter. Or at least I am so busy painting I haven't noticed losing brain cells.

Have you seen my keys?


sheriloraine said...

OK... first of all... you are so inspiring. SECOND of all, I am sad to call myself your neice... I have yet to earn that title of relation to such a great painter. Third of all, I have been saying over and over and over that I wish I painted more. Hello retard, ALL I have to do is take the stuff out! Especially since I got a really nice easel for my birthday.... Im not even going to say how long ago. Now I have no excuses!Except painting is lonely.

Morgen said...

Listen to the radio or put on a chic flick dvd and listen to it while you paint.

Shellita said...

I loved looking at the paintings that I actually got to watch you paint in class! And I loved your commentary on each. What fun. Wish I was still painting. I SOOO enjoyed it. We certainly had some good times learning in those classes. Your work is wonderful!

Morgen said...

SHELLEY!!! Come over and paint with me!!