“I’m dyeing my hair pink, so I will look like an artist.”

“I’m dyeing my hair pink, so I will look like an artist when I come to your studio.  That way, I will be more like an artist.”

Years ago, a mature woman called me and said that she would be coming to an art class and she had dyed her hair pink, so that she would look like an artist.  She explained to me that if she does that, it will make her more like an artist, and she can paint better.  Then she asked me what else she should wear in order to be an artist.

When she arrived, she had two separate bags of new art supplies, none of which were on my supply list.  She was wearing her new pink hair, huge costume earrings, and a black ripped t-shirt with goth style writing on it.  Torn blue jeans with paint specifically painted on them to look like it was spilled “by accident” on them,  and rings on every finger, two of which were skull and cross-bones, and bracelets going up and down each arm.  She was a ONE MAN BAND WALKING!

Hmmmm…..There was NO convincing her to begin her instruction with the basics.  She wanted to get her canvas out and “SLING” paint on the canvas, and play music on her Ipod to MAKE her get the “right mood” on her painting.  She didn’t want to learn how to mix colours, she did not want to learn how to draw, she wanted nothing to do with the fact that OIL paints and acrylic paints do not mix together and you cannot wash your brush with water after you have used oil paints on it.

It was just a disaster!  She complained that she was looking for new hobbies and she had tried EVERYTHING, but nothing had “worked out”.  She told of how she went to cooking classes and bought the chef hat and smock, and had all of the tools, and the “TEACHER NEVER TAUGHT HER ANYTHING”.  She explained how everyone in the cooking class told her she looked just like a chef!

I became increasingly distressed as she rambled on about the different classes she had tried, and how she LOOKED JUST LIKE whatever professional “whoseywhatsits” she was supposed to be.  As I always strive to be, I was extremely careful … and asked if she would be willing to just sit down with me for a FREE private lesson.  I encouraged her to leave ALL of her supplies at home, and to wear what she usually wears to clean her house.  She reluctantly agreed.

In a few days, she came for her private lesson, and we started from the very beginning.  Just a sketch pad and a pencil.  We sketched something very very simple, using the basics of composition, dimension and perspective and measuring the object to scale.  Her drawing turned out really well for a first try, and I encouraged her to stay and transfer it onto canvas and paint it!  Using the beginning techniques!  We went over the different kind of paints, and how to clean them….etc. etc. …

This woman now paints very well, and is extremely proud of her work.  She has acquired several commissions and loves her new found talent and hobby.

All of these years later, and after becoming friends, I asked her WHAT she was thinking when she first came to art class?  She laughed and told me that she was told,  that if you looked the part and bought all of the stuff, it was the major part of the learning.  She had been told that if you bought the correct supplies, you would be an artist.

It is not the tools that make one skillful.  It is the study, practice and WILLINGNESS to be taught.

Come to our Saturday Art Class, 10am-12pm and learn techniques to improve your work, or the basics to begin your journey into art!   561-573-0123.

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