Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oil Painting or Kindergarten?

Last Saturday, I went to my very first oil painting class. First, our instructor, Tracey Frugoli, gave us a demonstration on how she chooses her subject, prepares her canvas, and draws out the picture. During the entire demonstration she shared her techniques, color mixing, and the random thoughts that go through her creative mind while she paints. I have to tell you, the entire process was not only revealing, but very enthralling as well. Her paintings sell for thousands of dollars and I feel quite lucky that she lives in the Peoria area.

This year she is attending at least 5 "en plein air" events across the United States.

















After watching her, it was our turn! I chose to paint the river, thinking it would be much easier than the home that over looks the park that she chose. I felt like I was back in kindergarten learning to finger paint all over again! Below is a photo of the view I chose and the last picture shows my attempt at "en plein air."

As you can see, I have a long way to go! But, I am not giving up! This is a hobby that in which I have invested heavily and I love it. Granted, I have much to learn, but I am determined to conquer this hobby.

Toward the end of the class I walked around and viewed the other student's works. Several were VERY talented and gave me pause as to whether or not I was in the right class. Yet, I can't help but feel that being at the bottom will only help me rise to the top sooner. I didn't realize when I signed up for the class that I had missed the color mixing, paint strokes and several other important classes Tracey offered this past Spring. I immediately signed up for these classes which start again in October and last through December. I am hoping by then to be able to show you much improved paintings!

It's crazy all the things one needs to haul out to the chosen site; paints, mediums, brushes, loads of water (because it is hotter than Hell out there), easel, chair, and paper towels, just to name a few things. Then, just after you get all of this set up and you think you are ready to go, you get a call.... yes, I had to pee! Thank God, other students were there to keep their eye on my things. I'm not quite sure what I will do when I take off on my own.

The other problem with painting outdoors is that people passing by feel the need to stand behind you and watch. It was quite unnerving, to say the least. When I get good, however, I pray they come and watch and buy!!!

14 comments:

  1. Remember, it's YOUR art. Don't compare to anyone else... and, that was a great depiction, the sense of the land in the distance, good choice of color! You're off to a great start..and your enthusiasm is worth it's weight in gold. What a beautiful house, by the way..you oughta head back there and attempt those windows. You'de be surprised...

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  2. Hello! I noticed the title of your blog in a comment you left on Life in the Expat Lane, and had to visit, since the titles of my blogs are midlife-centric, as well!

    Love your sense of humor, your humility ... and your sense of color in spite of the fact that you missed the color mixing class! And I covet those red shoes!

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  3. You're off to a wonderful start, hang in there! When you become famous, can I have your autograph- on one of your paintings of course :)

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  4. As one whose highest painting achievement was a pair of bookcases back in 1983, I applaud your efforts!

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  5. I have been painting in oils and pastels for many years, and nothing brings me greater joy! All of attended 'our first class' at some point, you will enjoy going back and viewing your first paintings when you have continued to improve! However, I doubt you will 'conquer' this hobby - it's a lifelong process. After more years than I will say, I'm still learning.

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  6. Rose of Sharon, I certainly expect to conquer oil painting enough so that when I paint a tree, it finally looks like a tree! LOL

    My instructor is taking a class next week from Jeremy Lipking, so even though her paintings sell for thousands of dollars, she is still learning also. I figure I will always be learning too.... I have an education degree, my whole life is one lesson after another!

    Feel free to point our way to your paintings if you have any on the internet. Would love to see them!

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  7. I have to agree with all the comments already posted. Your enthusiasm and spirit will drive your painting to a level only you will dictate. And your work will improve the more you paint, tho you did a good job on this first en plein air piece. Taking one out of their environment and having total strangers approach and watch is a pain and can be conquered to the point that you will not even notice them in the future. Practice, practice, practice...I only wish I had more time to do so myself.

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  8. I think your painting is perfect. My mom has taken classes for oil and she was amazed how quickly she learned the techniques. I wouldn't dare - so I admire those that do.

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  9. But the people standing behind you like your work!

    Good luck. Maybe soon it won't just be a hobby.

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  10. I am convinced that you will quickly go from hobby to career. The best is yet to come.

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  11. You inspire me my friend to give it a try!

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  12. What a wonderful class you've signed on for...I will be cheering for you! And your painting of the river is very good I think. :)
    Now, is Tracey fluent in pocknis? Well? See, we all have our talents! xo

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  13. Congratulations to you for trying something new!!! And best of luck also. I entered law school in my mid-50s. What an experience.

    Great photos!!!

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  14. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Sara

    http://paintingdrawing.net

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