Friday, April 8, 2011

branching out!

I have been working hard at learning from recipes, cooking shows, online articles, etc., and I have finally decided to take some cooking lessons from an accomplished chef as well! I am very excited at the prospect of honing my knife skills, learning how to combine flavors, and new techniques for creating even more delicious foods! Once these begin, I will keep you posted on how things are going and post some fantastic recipes I am sure!

Well, apart from my cooking adventures, I have decided to add oil painting to my list of activities! I have decided to add this to my blog and keep my "fans" updated on my progress into the world of art. This isn't the first time I have dipped my toe into the cool rushing waters of art, but I haven't picked up a pencil, charcoal or pastel for about 15 years now and painting will be a whole new medium for me.

Today I met with a well-known local artist about oil painting lessons. Bernie Fierro is a wonderful artist (check out his website at that lately had a gallery showing at the local community college and I fell in love with several of his works. His artwork speaks to me in it's texture, colors and subject. He asked me to come by his studio to show him my previous artwork - what I had leftover at least and to assess if I had the qualities that might make me a successful (relatively speaking of course) oil painter. Long story short, he loved my old drawings and even went as far as to say I was naturally gifted with a leg up on most of his students. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least! I was slightly embarrassed to show him the few remaining pencil and charcoal sketches I had left from the late 90's because I felt they lacked life, motion, emotion and were only good renderings, not true art. So, it was a good boost to hear that they had excellent technical qualities and that I had a good feel for some of the basics like perspective, shadowing, etc.

We discussed why I was drawn to painting, even though I had been reluctant to venture into that medium before. Personally, I feel that painting is a much more challenging and courageous form of art. It's what separates the wheat from the chaff in my mind. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, be brave and not worry about things like it looking exactly like the image you are portraying. It's complexities allow for more life, emotion and feeling to be put on the canvas. Exactly what my art work had been lacking, but what I had been craving. I have always wanted to convey a mood, a personality, a moment in my art and felt I had always fell short. I didn't have the courage to try and work in this challenging medium before, but now I feel like I am ready to stretch myself and go for it!

It's not an inexpensive adventure. Start up supplies are going to run me more than I am really comfortable spending on a "hobby", but after discussing it with Matt, this is a time in my life where I have the opportunity to grow, the time to invest and the desire to stretch myself. He was all for me giving this a try and was even kind enough to offer me half of his shop for a "studio"! I have the most supportive and loving husband a girl could ask for! So, now I am making up my list of supplies that Bernie gave me and comparison shopping so I can get the best deals and the best materials. I can't convey how exciting this is. I am not much of a shopper, but the thought of having paints and brushes, knives and palette, easel and canvas is really intriguing and a little intimidating! adventure continues. The question, "can a cowgirl really be a cowgirl, cook, paint and be a great wife" comes to mind, but I am game for it all! There's nothing in life I don't feel I can't do if I set my mind to it, so I hope you enjoy accompanying me on this journey!