7 March 2012

Art Class

So I've just given the downstairs floors a good going-over with a cinnamon-fragranced disinfectant and the house smells like Christmas.  It's heady and horrid but I'd run out of the normal stuff.

It's proper 'curly hair' weather today - moist and very windy (no jokes please!) - and not conducive to going out so I've escaped upstairs to my craft room for, what I consider, a well-deserved fiddle with my paints.

It's art class again tonight.  Do you remember me mentioning it here?  Well, I went every week for a term and then signed up for another.

It's quite hard motivating myself to turn out in the dark, particularly if the weather is grotty, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I'm actually there.  Of course, my motivation would be far worse if it weren't for the fact that I go with my friend Peter.

We're currently a class of about twelve and there is a reasonable range of ability.

To be honest, I don't feel that 'my skills' have improved at all.  I seem to have a pad full of wishy-washy quickies.  I've certainly not produced 'a finished painting' but I must admit that my technical knowledge is definitely better.

We've covered colour, tone, positive and negative spaces and composition (loved that).  I've used masking fluid for the first time (which I really enjoyed) and charcoal (which I didn't) ...

We seem to have done a lot of work from pictures which I'm not so keen on and the occasional still life, which I much prefer.

We've touched on landscapes using 'layers' (never done that before either!) ...

So, as I say, I've definitely been dithering around outside my comfort zone, trying things I never have.  That's probably why my confidence in my own ability is a bit trembly at the moment.  I'm wondering if I preferred it when I just sat down and painted what I wanted?  No thoughts of the technicalities, simply letting my instinct take over.  It's not just me, Peter's been feeling the same.

I've been a bit frustrated about not being able to get my teeth into anything.  By the time we stop faffing and Sam (the tutor) has done her demonstration, and we actually get our pencils or paints out, there isn't much more than an hour of the lesson left.

For the next couple of weeks, however, Sam is re-covering some of the subjects from last term for the newbies so a few of us are able to embark on our own projects.

My original thoughts of painting a portrait have been shelved for now.  I don't think I'm good enough yet.  Twee or not, I think I've decided to concentrate on painting flowers in watercolours.


So, I've had a bit of a play and tonight I'll be taking a jam jar of blooms.  (Greengate jug will stay safely at home, don't worry!!!)

Look Cathy, your candlesticks!
Look Ashley, your salt and pepper pots!!

I'll let you know how I get on!

Ooh, is that a bit of blue sky I can see?


PS.  Thank you SOOO much for your wonderfully supportive comments about the grumpy school mum.  She did get in touch with me again to say that she didn't want to fall out with me and that, yes, we should let the girls sort it out themselves.  Which, of course, they did!


  1. Wow!
    You are seriously talented. Your paintings are really beautiful and I hope you get enough time to complete your project. And no, no twee at all.
    I used to go to pottery classes with a couple of girls from work, and it was such a laugh.
    Have fun!

  2. Bonny Heather, for what it's worth, I think you are very talented. I couldn't paint like that for all the cake in the Primrose Bakery!

  3. Wow your paintings a great! I know what you mean about feeling motivated and lack of confidence. I'm exactly the same! Once i'm doing something i'm okay, it's just the thought of it.

    From a new follower,

    Gemma x

  4. ive missed two posts, im following you but its not showing up in my 'thingymejig'...glad the mum is being more understanding and like you say the girls can sort things out between them ;0)x kiddies and especially girlies have their moments... i had a horrid two weeks when sophia said two girls were teasing and hitting her while she had lunch, i went in a few times to explain to the teachers...luckily it fizzled out.but she had been so upset by it.
    You are soooooo Talented!!!!!...i love your watercolours.
    loving your bright table display and flowers...enjoy your classes x

  5. Your paintings are really good, hope you stick with it. Watercolour is harder than it looks. I dabbled in it for a few years but gave it up as a bad job.

  6. STUNNING artwork my love. Wow, what a talent.
    Is that Zoflora that you used to clean with?!! LOVE it if it is x

  7. I know you are seeing your art through your critical eyes, but they are beautiful and as one with no artistic talent I love your paintings and your use of colour.

  8. Fabulous. I think you are doing fantastic. :D I particularly like the mountains by the lake... don't let the "schooling" take away your pure instincts. I have never been schooled in any of my artistic fields. I follow my guts. When the talk gets into technical stuff I totally loose the joy. SO keep on "doodle". You are a true artist by heart, that is for sure.

  9. I love watercolors, so dreamy & yours are beautiful, keep going....:)
    Good news on the mommy having a bad day thingy!!!!!
    Kids are so much better at these things, mine def are :(
    Lol Karen x

  10. Your watercolour work is gorgeous! So delicate, but with beautiful use of colour.
    Helen x

  11. Your paintings are fab - you sound quite negative about them but I think they are really good. I'm doing an art class too and I find the landscapes really hard having thought they would be the easiest to do. I find the still life easier to paint, but my technique needs a bit of work! It is the 2 hours of total relaxation that I really enjoy though! You might want to get a bit more practice in before trying to paint the candlesticks - glass isn't the easiest to capture! I'm glad things worked out between the girls, and hope things soon return to normal with the mums XXX

  12. Oooh lovely. It's been yonks since I used my water colours. I'd love to dust them down one day. So glad your friend cam to her senses and responded how she did....so nice to know there are still people out that with the ability to use rational thought!!! I seem to be surrounded by those who don't!!

    Jo x x x

  13. I'm actually quite impressed with all your artwork. I think it's just lovely. Wish I could do such paintings. Keep at it. I love the softness of watercolor. Can't wait to see more of your finished pieces.

  14. I like your paintings! So soft... And bunch of flowers is so pretty!
    Sunny days! ☼ Olga

  15. I think you paintings are lovely, and look forward to seeing more of them , you absolutely have a talent for it....wish I was half as good....I love using water colours though, but I think perhaps I am just too heavy handed for them..but we are tough on ourselves arnt we?......perhaps I need to be going on a refresher course too....Enjoy your evening tonight.
    Nice jug and flowers B.T.W.....
    nattie x

  16. Totally crap. You should give up and stick to cleaning! Ha ha.

    Give yourself some credit girl, you have some wonderful paintings there and you should be giving yourself a big old pat on the back and let the pride wash over you. Talk to yourself in the same encouraging way you would to your children.

    I L:O:V:E botanical paintings, twee or not they are my fave ever.

    x x x x

  17. Don't be so hard on yourself Heather, your paintings are beautiful. I love the little painting of the yellow tulip, so simple but beautiful. Your definitely talented at what you do so you have no reason to worry..!
    I'm so happy you like the salt and pepper pots, they look completely at home on your kitchen table. :-)
    Thank you so so much for my little thank you present I received today, it was totally Not necessary but was a lovely surprise when I went to pick up the parcel from the post office depot today. Thanks lovely.

    Ashley xxx

  18. Heather those paintings are absolutely beautiful. I adore watercolours and yours are fabulous! Please don't give up you are so talented...I so wish I was artistic . P.s. Glad to hear the school mum thing has resolved itself - horrid situation. Nikki

  19. Now this is moment when my mouth drops open and I say: 'Wonderful'! I have always been in awe of painters, drawers, artists in general. I used to love drawing when I was a child but did not keep the skill up - one of the negative sides of attending a grammar school. Now I am amazed when I see sketches and watercolours such as the ones you have shared with us. They are so pretty!

    My mother is an artist and has been attending art classes for decades now. I often hear her voicing her frustration about the course content and how she regularly feels she is wasting her time. Perhaps your feelings are widespread, then? A friend of mine in Normandy had the immense luck of having private classes with a painter who lived in a house perched on a cliff. She NEVER complained about her classes ever!

    Really,really lovely.


  20. Today I saw your new header's design! I am very like it! ♥ Olga

  21. Hello Heather. Love the new header!

    And I have good news, you have won one of Fee's lovely blocks in my giveaway, if you pop over to knitsofacto you'll find details of how to claim it :D

  22. You are sooooooooooo talented missy! I wish I could paint..... I hope you share more with us, I've loved seeing your paintings.

    Lou xxx

  23. Hello Heather..Your work is beautiful and you have me itching to get out my paintbrush again...
    I have recently found some of my work from college (many years ago!) which was such a surprise to me and it has brought back so many memories of the fun I had spending all my time drawing and painting...can't think of anything better...Congratulations too on winning Annie's lovely Giveaway!
    Susan x

  24. Your paintings are beautiful and sooo delicate.

    What a great excuse to buy some beautiful flowers too, look forward to seeing your paintings after tonight's class.

    Fleur xx

  25. Wonderful work Heather....makes me want to get my paints out!
    Now, I can't find your email address - but wanted to let you know I posted your block a good few days ago - everyone else received theirs at the end of last week and I'm starting to worry about yours!
    At least I took some photos so you can see what I made! (of course I'll re-make if it doesn't turn up!)
    Fingers crossed
    fee x


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Anyone ever told you that you're a peach? xx