Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Story of How I Started Painting In Earnest

A4, Watercolour, 2015 #1

Besides the fact that I really wanted to learn watercolour, we had also recently moved from overseas and brought nothing with us besides what could fit in two suitcases each.  So there was nothing on the walls of our new home, and nothing to put on them.  I was able to obtain some free picture frames that someone was throwing out, and determined to fill them with something meaningful to make our space more homey.  It's very hard when you can't hold on to things that mean something to you, and the next best thing you can do is create something with your own hands to redirect those lost orphaned feelings to a new belonging that somehow means as much as the missing item did -- because you made it yourself and put your own memories and feelings into it.

When I joined my friends at the Ellis House Community Art Centre, I was immediately taken under everyone's wings as a total newbie.  Karl, pictured above in the yellow shirt, was doing water colours too so I stuck pretty close to him at first, and he gave me good feedback and tips.

The first week I worked on a quick "sketch" of pink flowers, but it turned out poorly.  I was using Cotman tubes, which were okay, but I hadn't painted since 3 years before (and not at all before that) so I couldn't remember anything about how much water to use or how to hold the brush or how to use the water to its best advantage.  That same first week I also did a larger drawing for a painting that I was too afraid to start adding colour until I got a grip on how the paints worked.

The second week, I started work on my first portrait, of my little daughter when she was about two years old, pictured above.  I had such trouble with some parts of it but in the end, for my first effort, I was pretty happy.  It's on my piano room wall right now.

One thing that I appreciate the most about my own foray into art, is the interest that my little ones have taken in making art works of their own that mean something special to each of them.  I'll post more about that later, but suffice to say that the little ones picnicking in the back yard of Ellis House were also taken under everyone's wings when they came to visit and create art for the day, and it is so motivating for them to keep creating and learning new skills too.

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