This week I found myself trying my hand at painting again. The last decent piece I did was in 2013. I’m not much of a painter, though I did go to art classes one summer in the 90s. We mostly dealt with poster paint and I don’t recall exactly was taught us, but I do remember having fun and coming home everyday with a new piece of artwork to show off to my parents. But since then I’ve only painted a handful of pieces and did so years apart. One of these rare instances, I spontaneously recall as I type this, scarred me for life.
Let me take you back to 2001: My Home Economics teacher asks us to draw a color wheel on one-eighth illustration board. I figure I could put in a little extra effort and paint the color wheel’s background with a majestic sunset. I finish and it turns out to be quite pretty. Pleased, surprised and excited, I submit my homework. My teacher takes my work and frowns. She tells me in front of my classmates that I shouldn’t let other people do my homework for me. This is her skinning me alive. She shifts her gaze to address the whole class and says in a stern voice that that is considered cheating. This is her rubbing salt to my open flesh.
Yes, I’ve kept this all this time. I’m sorry, but it’s not like I don’t want to forget.
So back to my point, yeah, I could surprise myself. I wasn’t great, but I wasn’t bad either. I’d say painting has been one of my frustrations exactly because I knew I could develop it if I really wanted to. So this is why I’ve finally seized the opportunity, when it came one pretty lazy Sunday morning, to paint three different things.
First, I painted a Thunbergia plant, basing it on a file photo that I have of it. Then, I tried painting a fern leaf, which is really just the first of four that I’ve always wanted to do. I plan to hang them as a set on the wall. I don’t know if you’ve seen similar stuff in magazines, but they’re pretty neat. The last one is of San Sebastian Church, which is my favorite church next to my hometown’s. How can you not love that color?
What I really want to highlight though, is this painting.
This is my sister and she just turned 16 this week. My real gift came to her early, but I thought I could paint her, too.
This is my first portrait, EVER. And I surprised myself again. I set realistically low expectations. In fact, I braced myself for the possibility of not finishing at all. But to be honest, all it took was patience, something I certainly lacked during my first few attempts at the craft. And of course, faith in myself. What could this mean? Am I actually growing up?