Over the last few years, my wife and I have taken advantage of some of the continuing education classes offered at the local junior college. I have always been fascinated with art and art history, so I thought a class that would teach me to learn how to paint would be really cool. I did enjoy the class, and the instructor had all of the patience in the world, but let me just say that I was not suited to painting and after a series of mishaps, I ended up graciously bowing out to try to spare some dignity!
I was so excited when I first decided to try to learn how to paint that I went out and bought all of the supplies that I needed to get started. I even bought an easel, not knowing that they would be available for free at the class. I figured that it was a good idea to buy one, since I would want to practice at home, and this would give me the opportunity to do so. I remember going to class the first evening and feeling so proud that I was going to be more prepared than all of the other students. To be truthful, I really was!
The instructor started to show us how to make the various lines for what we were trying to draw and the techniques to incorporate to learn how to paint properly. It took me all of the first class to get the very basics down, and the instructor kept passing by my station, which should have been the first clue that I was not suited to it. She would offer gentle criticisms here and there and tell me that I should try this or try that. I would try what she was saying, and she would sort of half smile and reluctantly say, “that’s better.”
Within a week, I was so far behind the rest of the class it was not even funny. I still could not get down some of the basic concepts that most of the other students had already mastered. While they were painting pitchers and fruit, I was painting something that I can not even describe, because I don’t know what it was. I really wanted to learn how to paint, but I was just not catching on. After about three weeks, it was clear that I was not going to get it, and I informed the instructor that I was just not cut out for it. She was very nice about it, but I’m sure she agreed wholeheartedly!
I was never able to learn how to paint, which is a shame. I have known a number of other people who were able to without any interest in art whatsoever. I guess I will just have to continue to visit museums and galleries to enjoy great painting!