As many have experienced or witnessed, aging tends to make some a tad more set-in-their-ways, stubborn, and opinionated. Long ago, I told myself that I would not get stuck in my routine. I vowed to be open to new ideas, take a different route than my usual (What's the worst that can happen? You get lost!), change my hairdo, my home, my wardrobe, my body, my health. In the past two years my life has evolved and improved by leaps and bounds. I want to keep up the momentum. But now what?
After talking with an esteemed local artist about stretching oneself creatively, I decided to take some classes. Several months ago I drove to Old Town Alexandria to take a series of precious metal clay jewelry classes. Most recently, I've enrolled in painting classes. For this latest adventure, I didn't have to travel so far. In an area overflowing with great artists, the most difficult choice was with whom do I take my first painting class? Despite the dilemma, I chose Liberty Town artist and friend Carol Josefiak. In one week's time, I have gone from never picking up a paintbrush in my life, to someone who actually started and finished a painting in a day.
Mind you, I am not new to the art world after years of making one-of-a-kind sterling silver jewelry, serving as president of a local art cooperative for three years, co-founding a non-profit art gallery, judging a local art show, and serving as installation chair at two art galleries through the years. Even so, knowing good art and creating it are oceans apart. The latter will take years, I know.
As a wee bit of a perfectionist, I am hesitant to show you the first painting I did at home. Alone. Yesterday. But first, the process: the first task was to set up an interesting (sort of) still life. Ignore the light in the upper left hand corner. Next came the under painting. And finally, the painting. And in between there was the mixing of the colors from a limited palatte. That part was so much fun.
This is a photograph of the still life I created for my painting.
Next, I did the under painting with a neutral palatte, boring but you get the idea.
And lastly, here is my first painting. Actually it's my second. But this is the first that I did all by myself. No helpful, teacherly advice in the wings. Just me, my still life, my canvas and my oil paints.
This is actually my first painting, done in class under the guidance of skillful teacher, Carol Josefiak. Thank you, Carol. You're the best teacher this non-painter could ever have.
Stayed tuned in the weeks ahead as I share my progress. No laughing allowed. Actually, I love to laugh so chuckle away. Or better yet, join me in staying unstuck. Take a class, get lost, update your wardrobe, cut your hair, try a new food or recipe. Do anything differently. You'll be glad you did and your brain will thank you. Most of all, have fun.
Dee Antil is a multifaceted woman much like the stones she uses in her artisan jewelry designs. She has worn many hats from nurse anesthetist to single mother, founder of non-profit art co-op, amateur photographer, orchid grower, exercise/nutrition enthusiast. She also loves design, fashion, and the sea.