I’ve been getting personal counseling at school for the last seven months to talk about my mother passing away from breast cancer in 2004, my traumatic childhood and my crazier adulthood. After hours of conversation, it boiled down to doing the three things I wasn’t fully able to do as a child that I can now do as an adult: writing, ceramics and painting.
I’ve written 13 short stories that are circulating for publication, working on a 100-page novella, have several more ideas on the back burner, and planning to write a novel this summer. I’m taking an all-day Saturday ceramics class this semester and probably for the next two semesters after I graduate with my computer programming degree. I got a Reeves acrylic paint set, a 9 x 12 watercolor tablet, and some paint brushes to learn how to paint without numbers. Of the three artistic pursuits, painting is perhaps the most intoxicating in terms of creative pleasure.
I’ve done numerous paint-by-numbers as a child and did a few after my mother passed away, but I never learned how to paint on my own before. This tablet shows my learning progress: painting directly on the paper, applying a white wash over the sketch before painting, masking tape to sharply define the borders, and painting from pictures that I took with my digital camera or book covers that presented an interesting challenge. Each one shows a new technique being applied and a glaring set of errors to avoid next time.