Watercolor Crashing

     I am all ready for my Watercolor Crash Course today at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond.  Well, almost.  I still have to stop by Main Art for the right size covered pallete and a sheet of special paper.  Ben Franklin was able to fill most of my supply list, and now I feel like a third grader ready for the first day of school.

     This is the third genre of art class that I will have taken at the Visual Arts Center, formerly known as the Hand Workshop.  My first adventure was in Acrylics with Aime Oliver.  Taking that class with no background in art was a huge leap of faith.  Aime makes her students feel comfortable and pushs them beyond their comfort zone.

     Last fall, Lisa Fisher Johnson taught my friend, J, and me in a beginners drawing class.  I had met Lisa through our sons travel lacrosse team last summer and really got to know her during this session.  She has such a down to earth teaching style and is a great advocate for the Julia Cameron The Artist’s Way approach.  Her weekly reminders to park our inner critic at the door allowed us to feel good about our creations.  I am hoping to take a figure drawing class with Lisa when our schedules allow.

     With a crazy spring and summer schedule, this Watercolor Crash Course, which runs only from 10-4 today, fits.  No doubt, I will be taking a longer course when my schedule allows, but I wanted to get my hands full of paint before the summer arrives.  I am so looking forward to meeting my instructor, Catherine Southall, and learning basic watercolor techniques.

     Each of these classes has opened up my eyes to the challenges (not to mention expenses) involved in any visual art genre.  Actually working through the disciplines allows me to better comprehend the extent of accomplishment of the celebrated artists (dare I even say Picasso).  As I put a paint brush or charcoal on paper, I feel my brain making new connections, and even when my inner critic doesn’t like  the result, I have come to crave the process itself.

Still my favorite after seeing the VMFA exhibit. Unlike this thumbnail, it is huge and breathtaking.

     Finding time at home to pull out the materials from my classes and try to create anything is nearly impossible.  Sufficient chunks of time are just not available when there is laundry to be done, a dishwasher to be loaded and unloaded, appointments to make, emails to read, a dog to walk, piles of paper to sort.  Need I go on?

     Enrolling in classes at the Visual Arts Center makes me get out of the house so that I can challenge myself and stir my creative juices.  I will never be a Picasso or even approach the artistic caliber of my Visual Arts teachers, but having awakened my creative juices over the last couple of years did finally give me the courage to start writing this blog.  Like those visual endevours, this writing brings me joy as it challenges me to compose something from within that you might read and, dare I hope, enjoy.


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