Non-Traditional Student

It’s hard to follow a post where I get to talk about a tremendous life event (although facebook has yet to add “finding your birthmother” to its timeline repertoire). Despite everything thing I’ve thought of to post feeling of very little import, here I go anyway:

Red’s Paintings has gone back to school! I am now enrolled as a non-traditional student of the prestigious art academy at Austin Community College. (“Community” fans, anyone?) My Painting I class meets twice a week under the instruction of a completely crazy, bossy, abrupt, but very sweet, certainly entertaining, and wholly knowledgeable Ms. Clements. We are not allowed to use oil paints per her previous lead poisoning. (Fine by me, as acrylics are quickly becoming my favorite medium.)

Value Study

Value Study

Polychromatic Study

Polychromatic Study

Anywho, other than a few cursory exercises in the first week, the assignments have been a nice urging to not do things my way for once. The first was a quick still-life value study using a monochromatic color scheme, followed by a polychromatic still-life in the next class.  For each assignment she has been very vocal in ensuring we are painting life size, which has been great practice for me, as I tend to the smaller scale. I also have really been liberated by the time limit each class creates. It’s made me much less calculated (a great feeling) and much bolder as far as allowing myself to make a mistake–because it won’t get done if I just stand there and stare!

This week’s adventures on canvas have taken us outside for my very first “en plein aire” attempt. What a challenge, but a fun one! I have always admired rough-looking, but superbly accurate plein aire style landscapes. Julie Davis is a local Austin artist with a fabulous talent for this. My first study of this style of landscape painting is in Ms. Clement’s hands for grading, and our next one on a bigger canvas will be tomorrow. Cross your fingers for lots of sun!

I’m looking forward to getting to know my classmates better, and I definitely love having two large slices out of my week dedicated to painting.

Coming soon: a peak at what I’m working on at home!

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2 responses to “Non-Traditional Student

    • Thanks! Yeah the time limit has been great, once it stopped making me so nervous. Also, when she said you’ll probably paint over these anyway, I eased up. I’ve always been so stingy with my canvases–I didn’t want to waste one on a “learning exercise” haha :).

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