Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Class #3 - The Downward Spiral

Upon completion of most of my regular chores, with the addition of scraping the goo out of one of my best pans from burnt oatmeal (mine, not for guests), I went for a run. I was on a deadline, I had art class number three today. I ran down the street as best as possible (I've begun taking silica gel for my knee which has gone full fledged wonky in the last few days), stopping only for a very brief visit to see Pop. Usually I see Pop every day. In the last week I have seen him once, my schedule has been that ridiculous. As soon as I got back from running, I cleaned myself up, grabbed my smock and headed out the door for my art class. It was raining for part of the drive down, and traffic was exceptionally heavy the closer I got to Key West.

Once I got into the city, traffic was dead stopped. I was 20 minutes late for class. By the time I barreled into the class, the teacher had already completed his first lecture part about blending, and the class had the drawing sketched onto their canvases.

This was not going to be good.

I threw my smock on, rotated my canvas, and immediately set out to paint. I caught up as best as I could, but never had that beginning wisdom passed on, so I was once again struggling through the class. Not to mention the subject matter today was tropical fish. He actually said the types of fish they were, but I paid it no mind. I've never seen a tropical fish in real life, nor do I ever have plans to do so. Remember me? Water terror girl? I am surrounded by water, reef and tropical fish, but have never seen said fish. I simply couldn't grasp the subject matter. The subtle flair of the fins. The smokiness of being under water. How light changes to dark and then back to light as you go deeper in the water, or shift this way or that way. Nope. Not for me, and it shows in my painting.

The teacher came over to my painting several times with suggestions, as well as encouragement. I stayed a few minutes later after class ended because I was so frustrated with my painting, I wanted to get the blending better. I couldn't get it, just couldn't. The teacher came over to me and said he realized I was frustrated, and said that coming in late I still did a good job, and stop being so hard on myself. Easy for him to say.... I swear to you, he sticks his brush into the exact same paint pots that I am using, and with one swift stroke across my canvas, changes everything. And he says things like "see the difference  it makes if you just do this?" Well, yes I do see the difference. How does he do that?

Here is my painting. I'm posting it because I've posted the others. I'm not happy with this painting.

The teacher is an artist named Rick Worth, I've said this before. Personally I am a fan. I like his painting style, plus he's a benevolent person giving freely of his time and talent to many charities and persons. He paints typically with bold strokes and vivid colors. I like that. 

Why don't those colors come out of MY paint pots the way they come out of Mr. Worth's paint pots?

After class, I went up to the ladies' room to scrape off the 2.5 hours of paint that seeped through my dad's old shirt onto my arms (yes, I'm still doing the "real" artist technique of cleaning my brush on my clothing). When I looked into the mirror, I saw a giant smear of some odd blue(ish) paint down the side of my face. It was not a good look. Tonight when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I found some even odder shade of blue running through my hair. I'm not sure how that all happened, I am definitely not using my face, nor my hair, to clean brushes. I guess I have bad aim.  Really bad aim.

Next week, I'm allotting 90 minutes for travel time. Astounding. 90 minutes for Big Pine to Key West. Typically the ride takes 40 minutes this time of year, and off season, well, I probably shouldn't even say how fast I can get to city limits from my driveway, but it's good. Really good.  Whoever planned the "little" construction project in Key West obviously isn't anyone who has to live, work or take art classes in Key West, or be on a schedule of any sort, at any point.

And, so there it is. Art lesson #3 down, one more to go. I will not be taking any more classes until things slow down a little around here. I have chosen the busiest month to do these classes, I thought I could handle it, but I don't think I'm getting as much out of it as I could what with my other obligations, and the nightmare travel scenarios I'm encountering.

On the way out, one of the other students asked Mr. Worth to consider a chicken as the subject matter for next week. He said he would indeed take this under consideration. I have to say, if he chooses a chicken, it will make all the travel, all the disappointment, and all the frustration completely disappear. I want to paint a chicken. I know what chickens look like. I think I have a bit more advantage over the subject matter if it is a chicken. Tropical fish? Water terror girl says thanks, but no thanks.

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