“You ought to take a painting course,” my wife said to me one day as I debriefed her on what had gone on in her three-hour course that morning at Santa Fe Community College. She said she was learning more about colors, and I mentioned that my InDesign instructor had suggested that her students take the media arts course in color.
I was intrigued by my wife’s idea and suggested I might do it IF I could paint in class on my laptop computer rather than using brushes and paints, etc. A painter puritan, she was aghast.
“It’s not the same,” she argued. Well, yes, I agreed, but I pointed out that what I really wanted to learn was how to paint on my graphic tablet (and my touch-screen laptop).
She came back with all of the arguments: You don’t work with real paint; the paper’s not the same—ah, but you can imitate papers on a computer; and so forth.
We agreed that when we went to her instructor’s home for an open house, I could lobby the instructor and see if she’d let me in her course using modern tools rather than ancient ones.
In the meantime, we spent 14 days babysitting one of our granddaughters and that gave me some time to, well, not exactly paint, but doodle. Part of our duties included selling books at our granddaughter’s elementary school, and when I noticed that one mother had purchased a book on drawing, I found the mother lode and bought all four.
Inspired, I spent a little time doing a few of the lessons, although in some cases I would say they were too complex for someone in elementary school. I did best recreating Hello Kitty characters, which essentially are outlines of shapes and somewhat easy to draw, and had a difficult time recreating Avatar The Last Airbender because the lessons started me drawing an internal outline from which I worked my way out to the final result. It was just too many lines to keep track of. (We did watch him on television, but that didn’t help.)
Back in Santa Fe, I “painted” the above drawing just for this blog. You can view it two ways: I should stick to writing or I could learn a lot in a painting class. At least I didn’t sign it.
I leave you with the question I more or less posed at the beginning: Why can’t I be a pixel painter in a class of brush painters?
(I’ll let you know what my wife’s instructor says.)
I am a freelance writer and photographer and retired journalism professor. In my first newspaper job more than 50 years ago I wrote a sports column titled The Spectator (Caslon typeface). I thought I'd resurrect the title, which was and is in honor of Addison and Steele.
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