But as I started to paint, I suddenly experienced a moment from the past so strong, that I could hear, smell and see it in my mind. It was as though I was transported back in time. And I knew in the instant it happened that I would share it.
All of a sudden I was 12 years old again. I was sitting at an easel in a small, dusty studio, surrounded by painting paraphernalia. I could hear the hum of the air conditioner, and smell the accumulation of dust, and wood, oil paints, and turpentine. And I could see Erma Washburn standing in front of me, a rotund little woman with hair that was askew as though she had just run her hands through it quickly, because she had better things to do than comb it.
I could see the photo she showed me that I would be painting . I was afraid and excited all at the same time. She was a kind person, and had a soft but intense sort of voice. And we got right down to business, because my great aunt Phoebe, and then my Grammy, paid for me to take lessons with her.
So she squeezed out the oil paints I would be using onto my palette, to show me how to not use too much at one time. Paint wasn't cheap. Then she told me how to draw in the outline of the main shapes, and got me started on the background. I loved the feel of my brush against the canvas. Oil paint gliding on, blending it, mixing bits of this and that in to get the right shade. The paint medium I used to mix with my paint was a secret formula she said she had gotten from the "master" artist who had instructed her. In my young mind, that could only have been DaVinci (I know now she wasn't THAT old, but to a 12 year old with a fertile mind, that was where my thoughts landed). I never did learn what that formula was. She guarded it like gold. And of course made a nice profit on every bottle of the concoction she sold to me.
But I realize that in the place of that has come a deeper love of art, an understanding of who I am as an artist, my passion for painting, and the knowledge I wish to share with others. This journey isn't over yet. I still learn every day. And I still grow as an artist with every piece of work I create.
Thanks Erma. I think you'd be proud of me.
*Today: I am sharing a link to another blog that I enjoy... My Paintings by Hinda Toufga. She is a prolific writer with a wide variety of topics on her blog, and she is also a marvelous artist with a fresh eye and the curiosity to try different kinds of art media. Visit her and tell her Cath sent you. And be sure to check out her paintings, and don't forget to leave a comment if you enjoy her blog...