Angela Anderson’s Painting Lesson

20151229_144546Artist Angela Anderson is photo bombing my newest acrylic painting. OK, more accurately,  her Youtube tutorial,  Red Oak Fall Landscape.

Despite my lack of the correct size canvas and hardly any of the suggested colors, I had the urge to use the supplies I had and give it a try. (Delayed gratification,  not a strong suit)

One of my first attempts at painting was Angela’s daisy tutorial. She had immediately put me at ease with her easy going, conversational style. Oddly enough, just as I started stressing out (it may have been 3 hours in, with all of my “pauses”) she literally stated, “At this point you may be stressing out. The best thing to do sometimes is to walk away…come back and look at it with fresh eyes…”

Creepy. I believe she also reminded me to get a drink of water at one point. And possibly suggested a pee break when I was too focused on painting to hear my bladder screaming for attention.

Then, just when I rationally convinced myself that Angela couldn’t read my thoughts during the painting struggle, she did it again. My painting looked awful. I mean, nothing like hers and much more like a four year old, or a monkey, had done it. Maybe even a four year old monkey. And at that moment, she explained that there’s a ugly stage in every painting.

Now, a warning if you’re planning to check out an Angela Anderson tutorial. While she starts with an artsy, everything goes attitude, she transforms into perfectionist, gotta just do one more thing….and one more thing…and one touch of red here…and goes on and on and on…in short is so much like my self-diagnosed OCD self, it’s scary.

But, I appreciated her intuition, trusted her guidance. And I did push through the four year old monkey stage and  kept going.

Full disclosure: I painted the daisy three times, varying colors, sizes, and types of canvas before painting one that I was happy to display. And, it’s one that truly makes me happy every time I see it.

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Can it be done…obsessing in acrylics

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Setting up a “studio” that looked like I knew what I was doing…very important step for me.

My plan was to become a painter, my medium, acrylics.  “Plan” is such a benign word. It was a plan for about five minutes….then it  became an outright obsession.  I was scrolling through Amazon looking for painting books, making lists of supplies, looking at scenery in a new way, thinking about colors, possible projects and imagining  painting on the beach, outside my Outer Banks beach house. (I would first need a beach house) And direction.

Sadly, Kindle’s teeny, tiny pictures on my tablet were not much help.  I needed to purchase real, hard copy books. So, my first investment was “An Introduction to Acrylics In Association with the Royal Academy of Arts” by Ray Smith, “Acrylic Painting Step-by-Step” by Wendy Jelvert, Carole Massey and David Hyde, and “Acrylic Painting for Dummies” Colette Pitcher.

Some of the giddiness of dreaming of being a painter was sucked out of me as I poured through the books. Painting looked like work. And, other than the desire, I wasn’t overly confident that I could make a painting happen, at least not something I would want anyone else to see. However, true to their descriptions, these books covered the basics of how to buy paint (still overwhelming once in the paint aisle), brushes, and canvases.  And, they had enough information and inspiration that I felt that I could jump in and give painting with acrylics a try.

For weeks, I played with mixing colors (found out you don’t just use colors right out of the tube. Who knew?) And, I tried to copy paintings from books in order to figure out techniques. I wasted lots of paint, I warped lots of paper (tried to use the cheap stuff). And, I actually produced some stuff that I wasn’t embarrassed to show a few, non-judgemental people in my life.  I made the leap of feeling as if I could never do this and I  wished I hadn’t told anyone about my endeavor, to feeling ( I know this is cheesy) that this is what was missing in my life. Obsession is not too strong of a term here.

It was time to advance. Next steps: Use actual canvasses (so scary), and try some online tutorials.

Simple…Let’s try this again

Why do I feel like I’m breaking every Blogging 101 rule with this first line? OK, jumping in anyway…

Things to celebrate…I remembered my password and user name. (You will learn that this truly is something of a miracle, as you get to know me.) So, I find my site and apparently my last post was not a few months ago, but…wait, TWO YEARS? Really? 2013?

I’m not deterred, lucky for you. (You will also learn that I lean towards sarcasm.) I found the posts hidden in the archives so I could see how this used to be done. So, now I’m on my way to fulfill my blog-writing goal.

Do you also feel us bonding as I tell you my endearing persoanlity traits in such a non-egocentric way? I don’t even feel the need to add “winky face” or “haha” following that comment, since we now know me so well.

😉 haha (for anyone not feeling it yet. Hang in there. You may not lol at  me but maybe you can be my friend, and smile when you see my name, and stalk me…no, don’t stalk me. There’s no stalking…but best case scenerio, you might want to check in every once in a while. Very appropriate.)

Apparently, two years ago, my posts were all self-righteous about how I can live “Simply, By Design.” Let me tell you, it didn’t really work out that well. But, as they say, New year. New start.  (Yes, I am also annoyed with the people who say that and not necessarily feeling it but letting my actions go before my feelings here.)

Let’s be honest. I’m not without doubts. My concern is that my authentic life is not a page turner.  (Scroll downer?) Don’t people with blogs usually have something to say? (I almost HAVE  to do a little winky here, right? Because, I’m thinking the answer is probably “no” but I also don’t want to offend you, my new friend who most likely is into this blogging thing.)

Guess I could post about the movies I watch on Netflix except that I immediately forget everything about them about the time the ending credits scroll. Ditto, with e-books and news articles. I know this because as soon as I begin to recommend anything to anyone, I go into old people mode, something like this:

Me: Saw a great movie on Netflix.

Them: Oh, yeah? (At this point, they’re still hopeful I can  impart the information) Would I like it?

Me: You’d love it! It had….oh, what was his name? He was in….ugh…that show with the two guys we used to watch…they were funny…

Them: Ummmm. (This is generally someone younger who is unsuccessfully trying not to roll their eyes.)  So, you don’t know the name?

This launches a guessing game that goes on way too long, ending only after both parties are completely frustrated and ending with…

Me: You probably wouldn’t like it anyway.

Somehow I don’t think this is the way to go with the blog. (I am fairly certain I would feel the eye rolling, even though you aren’t directly in front of me.)

I am counting heavily on the tips from  Blogging 101 to find something of interest (that I can remember) so you, my new friend, and non-stalker, will come back to visit.

The only thing I’m certain of at this point, is  that  I’ll scratch the past’s “Simply, By Design” idea.  Maybe just “Simple” would be more accurate. And, I mean that, not necessarily, in the nicest way.

Well, happy blogging to me, and happy reading to you. Thanks for showing up.