Watercolors: What took me so long? (Unfounded fear)
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Watercolors, I so admire watercolorists, painters, anyone who can put brush to canvass and create. After years, I finally signed up for a watercolor class.
In the first class, the teacher had us “shading spheres” so basically, I painted three balls. Later my granddaughter said one looked like a planet. My God. Anything is possible!
My brother Steve, a mechanical engineer, is an exceptional watercolorist. He can do fine detail using a one-hair brush and he wears professional magnifying eyeglasses.
I once asked him, “Are they like the kind of glasses plastic surgeons wear when doing nose jobs?”
Two years ago — before taking actual painting lessons — attempted to do an arrangement of three pink peonies. Feeling so proud, I sent a photo of it to my brother. In my email, I wrote, “Not bad, huh?”
What I really wanted to write was “Top that, sucka!”
He didn’t reply, so I called him. “Whatcha think?”
Steve paused, the kind of delay when one searches for the utmost in grace and diplomacy.
I said, “Oh, just spit it out.”
“Sue,” he said, “you need to pay attention to negative space.”
“It’s the space around or between the painted objects.”
“I don’t get it. I painted three peonies.”
“Yes, Sue, but look at the placement. It’s like you painted Mickey Mouse’s head.”
Suddenly, it was all so obvious. Two big round puffy ears and a pink head. A couple of well placed bees would have given it eyes.
I didn’t touch another paint brush for years, until recently, when the Milton Council on Aging offered a watercolor class. That’s what I needed. To get into a class with other newbies, senior newbies like myself. No judgment, no talk about negative space, a few lessons to set me straight.
And now, there is hope. After all I shaded a ball, and my granddaughter saw Neptune.
Note: This piece came about from a writing prompt in a class given by ElainePerson