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Sunday, July 25, 2004 AD
In case I haven't annoyed my dial-up readers enough, here's a bunch more images. Click on each one to view it without a paisley background.

I was trying to remember when I took my painting class and I finally worked it out that it was the fall semester of 1988, when I was 21.

This was my first oil painting. The instructor started us off with just black and white paint, and a still life of potatoes and onions.

Next she moved us on to a couple blue and reddish-brown (I should probably remember the names of the pigments, but I don't) paintings. Here's one with what seems to have been her favorite still-life component: shoes.

Here's another with some cylinders. I think she was going for textures and reflective properties here. The brown cylinder was probably cardboard or something. The blue cylinder was metallic, and you can see the brown one reflected in it. Who knows what the white ones were...I obviously didn't complete them.

Next we did complimentary colors. Our in-class assignment was, once again, a shoe still life. These, as well as the previous two, were intended in part to help us see how warm and cool colors create the illusion of closeness and distance.

The complimentary color homework assigment was to paint a popcorn landscape.

Eventually we moved on to full color work, and the instructor taught us a technique for painting shiny things. I call this masterpiece "Chevy Hubcap with Gourds." Can you see the Chevy logo in the center? Wouldn't you be proud to hang this above your couch?

We also had a shiny homework assignment for which I produced the following. I borrowed the shoe from the instructor's prop collection (I did all my homework assignments in the studio) as such a thing would not have been found in my wardrobe at the time. Or at any time, for that matter.

For one class she set up a huge still life with a variety of objects in the center of the room and told us to paint what was right in front of us. I was staring a baby doll draped across an American flag, which wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world to paint, but I always thought it looked like an anti-abortion statement. Creepy, innit?

Another home assignment was leaves, rock, and fruit or vegetable. I think this was the assignment where she threatened to tie a 2-inch paintbrush to my hand so I wouldn't be quite so obsessed with details 'til I'd gotten the thing a little better filled in. She was pleased enough with the pepper and the orange leaf, but not with the barely sketched rock. It was a piece of feldspar I'd borrowed from the geology lab (with permission from my prof, of course) because I wanted an interesting rock. An uninteresting rock might actually have gotten painted, though. Note to self: Don't take mineralogy and painting classes simultaneously.

Another still life component the instructor liked was styrofoam cups You can see some above in one of the shoe paintings. I think the idea was to get us to see that white isn't really white. If you've seen "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (and I don't particularly recommend that you do) you may remember the scene where Vermeer asks the girl what color the clouds are. At first she says they're white, but then she looks a little harder and says they're yellow and gray and blue. I thought of my instructor's styrofoam cups.

This is my favorite painting of the semester (the silver shoe is my second favorite). I think it helps that the colors are bright and cheerful, and it actually looks finished. When I look at this one, I wish I'd kept painting. I wish I could start painting again. Maybe someday....

Our final assignment was to create a still life of our own and paint it. One of the options was to create the still life by pinning things to a bulletin board. Since we'd have to be painting both at home and in class, I went that route. Unfortunately every element of the piece is emblematic of my 21-year-old foolishness, and I'm too embarrassed to post it. Obviously styrofoam cups and colored paper were about as self-expressive as I should have been at the time.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 7/25/2004 03:16:00 PM • Permalink

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