The Lesson of Art

7:00 AM

This past Friday I began my Drawing and Painting the Figure class. It's a ten week class that meets on Friday nights from 5:30 - 9:30. We use live models, which is a first for me, and quite challenging!

This class excites me and scares the pants off me for several reasons:
1) I've never been taught how to draw quite like I need to now draw,
2) I have yet to actually use oil paints,
3) My teacher is someone whose art I particularly admire and who also is a friend,
4) I am scared I'm not gonna be any good at it and, 
5) I really really really want to learn and to be good at this.

Our first class, the teacher wasn't actually there - he had two of his serious students loosely instruct us. I am hoping for some more specific instructions as we go along. I felt like I was tossed in the deep end and told to dog-paddle. 

But I really enjoyed working with a live model, as it made me feel like a true artist! 

And here's the thing I'm going to confess to you.
I feel like a fraud. I'm not really an artist. I'm a person who longs to be able to paint like those who most deeply move and inspire me. And I realize that the painters I most admire spent their entire lives learning and perfecting their crafts - many of them choosing their careers over marriage. So I know that one doesn't just start painting the paintings I see in my head. You have to learn how to draw, how to block a figure (something I am just now learning), how to measure proportions and angles, how to see people as lines of movement and not just gestural objects.

And that's all before I ever dip my brand Winsor Newton hog's hair brushes into my brand new oil paints and see how this thing works. I'm scared to death. And determined like nobody's business. And terrified. Oh, wait, I already said that.

Pursuing your dream, testing your mettle, trying to cultivate a little bud of a talent that you might have had years ago, but which you coldly and methodically smothered in pursuit of more analytical talents...well, it's not a small or easy thing. I could fail. I could be horrible! 

And I may be. But I tell you this, my friends, it won't be for lack of effort or desire.

Not only did this past weekend mark the first of my 10 weeks of class, my daughter Brooklyn also had the first of her own 10 weeks of art classes. Her class is more of an Introduction to Art. She'll be dabbling in clay, as you see above, paint, pastels, drawing, pottery... it will give her an opportunity to see what kind of medium she enjoys the most. And, in keeping with our family values, it will further develop her Creativity!

As she took her class Saturday morning from 9-10:30, Kyle and I took August and Dorien for a breakfast of  totally unhealthy pastries at Boulevard Bread Company. And afterwards, we crossed the parking lot to explore this interesting little garden space.  The meandering glass path you see above was lovely, but not something I'd want to accidentally fall into!

This enormous sculpted head appeared to be casually sunning himself.

This area was perfect for running around willy-nilly. So we did. 

I am so proud of my city for creating this space full of beautiful flowers, unique gardens, sculptures and beauty. It makes me proud.

You Might Also Like


  1. You'll be wonderful. You're already an artist. You always have been. You've always been able to see things you'll just learn to put it on paper <3 And it'll be uniquely yours. I'm excited for you! I'd love to do something like take an art class!