fIn the middle (eh, beginning) of summer, I realized I had underplanned activities for my five-year-old son. Now that his schedule was different, mine would be too, and it was clear summer would not be a productive painting time. So I slathered us both with sunscreen and hit the pool and beach.
By August I realized that I didn’t even have time to think my thoughts amid H’s repeated inquiry for what we are going to do NOW. I quickly found a spot for him in a week of day camp, where he would have “crazy fun” and be “profoundly enriched.” Thank you, science camp.
I made a list of Things to Think, and one of biggest was to evaluate my schedule and goals for the coming school year, which is now the calendar I live by, too. I wanted to try new media and techniques but also avoid a classroom full of strangers. Online courses! I found a great catalog of courses with Artists Network University, and I talked myself into a beginners course on pastels. I’ve always wanted to try them. I love the purity of their color, and the medium seemed like a good way to combine color love and controlled mark making. I was actually nervous to sign up, but I did at the last minute. I’m so brave.
As instructor Chris Ivers predicted in her New England accent, “Trust me. You’re going to fall in love.”
But it wasn’t love at first sight. As with any medium, there are so many materials to choose from, and I was overwhelmed by selection and price. Heads up: Pastels are expensive. No getting around it. I made mistakes with materials (used the wrong side of my paper TWICE) and techniques, but by the third assignment it clicked. Chris is a great instructor, and she provided helpful and encouraging feedback, quality demonstrations, and a good attitude.
I can see myself becoming an online-course addict, but I’m going to try to stick with pastel practice for a couple of months and see where it goes. Which reminds me to ask Santa for a big set of pastels.
Later is what?
After settling into various desk jobs, I always said I'd get back to painting later in life, and later is now. Again means that I tried once before. I decided to write about my painting endeavor, too, as a learning tool, an accountability tool, and to stay sharp in case I have to go back to a desk job. Again.
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