Paint Me Happy

Today I’m wiggly with excitement because I took my first oil painting class. Painting is something I’ve wanted to learn about for a long time. I did a lot of sketching and pencil work years ago, but not painting. Pencil is great for realism and precision, which I love, and still I have always had an itch to see what I could do with color. I found Joni’s ad in the local Buy & Sell and signed up for a workshop. Joni’s home and studio are located in Valley Springs, about a half hour drive away. A manageable distance, for the boonies. She’s got a small building dedicated to her studio and teaching. It is a cozy, homey space filled with seven or eight easels and students and her work station. Her seat and easel are elevated on a platform to make it easier to see her demonstrating techniques and color mixes. Cabinets and supply areas line the perimeter. All available wall space is filled with paintings and treasures and lacy, flowery things.

Joni herself immediately enveloped me in a warm hug, then got me seated at an easel and set up with brushes and squirts of paint on a mixing board. She bustled about the room in a motherly way, making sure each student was comfortable and had everything they would need for the painting to be created. She enjoyed calling on me for the “tall person job” of reaching items from top shelves. I liked her immediately, and also liked soaking up the warm camaraderie amongst the students. They were all female and mostly older than I, though there was one young person who I’d guess was in her mid-teens. A few people seemed to know each other well, and I liked the community feeling I got from the gathering. An atmosphere of pleasure and friendship permeated the place.

Nighttime Seascape by JoniThis is Joni’s original painting that we were to copy, following her step-by-step instructions. She had already prepped our canvases, and we worked from a prepared black ground. Each person interpreted what they saw differently, used color and made spacial choices in slightly different ways, so even though we were all working from the same reference the paintings varied interestingly. I was surprised at how pretty they all looked to me, especially my own. Bob Ross would be proud!

Joni was in constant motion, keeping the pace moving along steadily so that by 2pm we had completed the sky and much of the water. By the end of the second 4-hour session next week, our paintings will be done and we’ll take them home.

I was completely enchanted by the whole process, and loved mixing colors that seemed weird but looked awesome when applied. Take another look at the painting, and then consider that the first mix Joni had us make was a light, buttery yellow. Yellow! Yep, it’s in there. And who’d a-thunk that a sky needs green in it?! Crazy.

I’m already hankering for more. That third bedroom may have a future as a studio…

One Comment

  1. The Hollosphere » Blog Archive » Cookie Weather:

    […] went to my painting class around 10AM (more on that later), and did some shopping chores afterward. Conal called as I was […]

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