Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Study in Bartlett

Dear Mom,

Three weeks ago I started taking a watercolor class. I'd been playing around on my own and having fun pretending to be Susan Branch. Let me stop right here and say that painting, drawing and ART are not things I was ever good at, or even considered doing for fun. Bonnie Jo was always the artist of us kids. Anyway, here I am, 54 years old, and learning a new trick. And very surprised that this is the trick I am learning.

I am challenged. Completely outside my comfort zone. Stretching my brain. And having fun. I don't have any realistic aspirations to be a famous artist. Only imaginary ones.  I also don't consider myself very competitive, but I caught myself realizing that I didn't want to be the worst one in the class. It didn't take me long to go from "This will be fun! I have No Expectations!" to " uhoh. what if i can't do this." to "Oh Yes. You can and you will and you will Figure It Out. Dammit."

So last weekend I buckled down and practiced painting pears.

Maybe I am in denial about this competitive thing.

After the first class, Cindy, our teacher, sent us home with a picture of a pear to try painting. I painted a few pears. They were not very good.
There were more. These are the best ones. I am trying to learn "value".  About all I can say about these is that I am rather pleased with the stem on the pear on the far left.
 Clearly drawing is a whole 'nother issue, and one I probably shouldn't try tackling while I am pretending to be a watercolor artist, so on Saturday I traced a whole peck of pears and started painting and trying to get my "values" right.

I may have an obsessive compulsive disorder. A noncompetitive passive obsessive compulsive disorder. NCPOCD.

I painted seven pears on Saturday.

My Pear Period
February 2015

I experimented. I think I am getting better. Or I think they look better because the shapes are traced and uniform.
My teacher said I could graduate to pomegranates or apples or something. I decided to try cherries.
These are not quite right. I feel more cherries will be painted before I am satisfied. Those leaves are pitiful.
I also tried painting a cake. I think I will not be painting any more cakes for awhile.
Yesterday I started a series of tea cups.
I am telling you they are tea cups so you'll know what they are and not have to pretend.

And speaking of tea cups…
About a month ago I ordered a special tea trio from an etsy shop. It arrived yesterday, having travelled all the way from Ireland. I fell in love with this china pattern while watching Larkrise to Candleford.
Dorcas Lane has a hutch filled with Royal Doulton "Countess" china.

Look at the beautiful detail on the handle! Tea time just got even more special.