I haven’t painted a picture in years. It’s not something I have spent a lot of time doing so my efforts aren’t very good. I even paint rooms badly. However, I was browsing Facebook recently and an ad for a painting workshop popped up in my feed. I just loved the use of colours within the ad – they seemed to be calling me. One of the key points that was stressed in the workshop blurb was that you didn’t need any painting experience. The workshop ran over a Saturday and Sunday but was about 2 1/2 hours drive away. I booked in anyway. I stayed with my daughter on the Saturday evening to cut an hour off driving time.
The tutor, Susan, was lovely. Some of her artwork was displayed around the art room we used. Susan’s paintings in real life are vivid, full of colour with lots of layers coming through.
A canvas had been provided on each of the workspaces. I was a bit surprised by the size – 30 inches square. I did wonder whether I would be able to fill the canvas with anything meaningful.
Using acrylic paints, I finger painted the first layer. It was quite liberating to just smear the canvas with my fingers. It didn’t matter what I did, just that I did something. Mind you, my eyes were closed whilst finger painting. I guess this was to just let you go with the flow. Susan stressed several times that we weren’t to get too caught up in the result of each layer as the painting would evolve through each layer.
As there were many different layers to complete in a limited timeframe, you can’t put another layer of paint onto wet paint as it will smudge, I used my hair dryer to dry any wet paint. My hair dryer, which has lain dormant in my cupboard for years, came in handy. Good thing I didn’t throw it out.
More layers were added to the canvas using different styles, words were also incorporated. One of the other layers also involved using your fingers. At the end of it, I had lovely, colourful fingernails, almost as if I’d been for a bad manicure. I also really enjoyed mixing colours of paint together. With glass, you can’t mix the colours in the same manner. I found it quite liberating. After each layer, the hair dryer came out once again. There is no right or wrong method, you just play with the paint.
At the end of the second day, my painting was almost complete. I took pictures of each stage as I went as a record for future paintings. Whilst my painting isn’t perfect, I’m very happy with the result. All the paintings in the workshop looked great. For a few of the participants, it was their second time round.
Now I need to buy a few painting supplies so I can continue working with these beautiful colours at home. When 2017 started, I never imagined I would do this type of workshop. Workshops I usually attend are glass related. No, I’m not giving up my glass art – I love that too much. I just need to express myself in a different way sometimes.