Last week I had my first watercolor class at the RAC. I confess I was slightly apprehensive before I went. I’ve taken so few art classes as an adult, I’m still never sure what to expect from the instructor, the format, or my fellow students.
In this class, there were maybe a dozen or more students — nearly all retired ladies — and of these, I was one of only three who had never taken class with this teacher before. Many of them knew each other from their personal lives and from previous classes, so they chatted away happily.
The teacher, Annette, did a demonstration using a Gravenstein apple from her yard as the subject. She then invited the class veterans to take a few apples and do the same, while she sat aside with us newbies and walked us through the materials list. This was surprisingly helpful, as it confirmed some things I’d already suspected (I don’t need to wash out my palette every time) and informed me on other subjects about which I knew little (watercolor paper). Next time I visit an art-supply store — which I hope will be soon — I’ll have a much better idea what I’m looking for.
After that, I painted my apples (which smelled incredible, by the way!). I know I have a tendency to work small, whether it’s in drawing or in painting, and even though my apples were a mere quarter of the size of my classmates’, they’re still relatively bigger than anything else I’ve painted. This let me focus clearly on shape, color, and detail; I’m thinking now that I should spend more time painting such “large” objects.
A strange note: I always think that when one goes to a new place, one should be welcomed with patience, kindness, and open arms. In this class I was welcomed in just this way, and it rendered me utterly at a loss. I didn’t realize I had such an inferiority complex (or whatever this behavior indicates), but I had a very hard time responding in kind to the teacher’s and classmates’ generous remarks and genuine interest in me. Quite frankly, my internal reaction was to think: “They don’t know anything about me! I might be a terrible painter! Why are they being so nice to me?” Of course the answer is that they cared about me as a fellow human being, not as someone who may or may not be a brilliant artist. I don’t know why it is so difficult for me to accept this kind of warmth… except that I suppose it indicates I feel I need to prove myself before others will embrace me. I didn’t think I had that in me, and it’s interesting to know that I do! Tomorrow’s Artist Date post will speak to this more.
On the topic of my “apple a day” title for this post: since December I have been drawing/writing/painting one quotation per week as a Christmas gift for my best friend Jackie. It finally occurred to me that these little artworks deserved their own album, so here it is:
oh, Lisa – your quotations album – i LOVE them all! beautiful lettering & design… and there are some really good quotes in there! 🙂
Thank you, Alison! 🙂 I’m thinking I might have a party/one-woman “show” sometime where I solicit quotations in advance from all invited guests, and then write them up and post them all over my walls at the party. Then people can take them home as favors. I think it’d be super-fun for all involved. 🙂
[…] fronds on long stems. At first I tried a tomato, but after my previous paintings of pears and apples, the rounded fruit just seemed too much like the others. So I selected a frilly bloom and began […]
[…] books, and requested from the library those that got the best reviews on Amazon. Yes, I just took a watercolor class, but it wasn’t very technique-based, and I think I need more of that (but on my own […]
[…] think my unconscious first declared this in September, during watercolor class, when I realized I feel required to prove myself before others will accept […]
[…] The RAC is amazing and everyone there is so nice, but I get such an inferiority complex when I go there, it’s ridiculous! I have to keep reminding myself that (a) it is inappropriate and absurd to […]
[…] to Toronto and suddenly became the world’s most neurotic self-doubter. This happened to me at home, too. It’s a form of imposter syndrome, wherein you can’t be convinced of your own […]
[…] post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com. Three years later I wrote again about being embarrassed/discomfited by […]