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.