Maybe you should take that painting class you told me about. The one Jane is taking.
He could tell that I was in one of my, “I’m just a mom” moods. It would come over me every so often–the feeling that I had somehow lost myself in my effort to raise someone else. We only had 2 kids at the time, but they were small and we were in a foreign country (albeit an awesome one). Mike was dealing with the Global Financial Crisis around the clock, while I figured out how to navigate the Southern Hemisphere solo and keep our young safe from the notorious wildlife of Australia. I was grateful for the adventure, but had given up teaching to get there, and had trouble fully embracing the domestic monotony that sometimes accompanies the early years of motherhood.
Mike was always impressed with my doodling. It honestly wasn’t anything to write all the way home about, but I did seem to have a mild obsession with making shapes and patterns when asked to sit and focus for any length of time. And I was a little jealous of my neighbor Jane and the awesome art she was making, seemingly out of nowhere. So I took his sage wisdom and signed up for the Beginners Still Life painting class at the Ku-Ring-Gai Art Center which was in my neighborhood. ( I also tried the “Get Fit” tennis class that was adjacent to the Art Center, but I don’t really want to talk about it. It didn’t go as well.)
I was terribly uneasy about the class at first; sure that I would embarrass myself or break some unspoken cardinal rule of painting. I didn’t know how to buy supplies let alone produce anything. But our instructor, Eve Pitt, put me at ease. She treated everyone in the room like an artist. She taught me to notice the little things that make a painting beautiful, the shadows and light, the stride of the color across the page, the story being told…
She taught me to trust my eyes and my imagination at the same time. I always thought it was one or the other. But, I quickly discovered that the best art emerged when the two worked together. When trust and courage combined. In many ways it was the very lesson I needed to learn as a mom. That motherhood was still life–not merely sacrifice. And that art can be seen everywhere you choose to look for it. In the child’s shadow on the concrete, or the way spilled milk makes a pattern on the floor. There are life lessons in every creative endeavor if you have the imagination to see them.
In homage to Eve, the Heart Gallery will now be hosting classes for beginning artists that want a courageous deep dive into painting. Although, we have already completed week one of our Still Life course, new painters are welcome to join us for week 2 and 3. A Portrait and Landscape series will be posted in the coming weeks as well.
FAQ: Will wine and such be available to me? Yes.
Do I need my own supplies? No. You can if you want though.