My Not-So-Still-Life

Today I took a 1/2 a day off as I had a painting workshop in the afternoon at the WOODSTOCK SCHOOL OF ART, which is finished up tomorrow afternoon.

The workshop was titled "The Poetic Still Life" and the description was right up my alley. A blend of landscape and still life in oil, a combination of Hudson River Artistry and the old Dutch Masters. The artist's work is well known, and beautiful, and I was looking forward to the class.

The supply list for the class stated that I needed to buy water soluble oils. Another 90.00 to buy, but I go out and get the supplies, even though it is nearly breaking my already low bank account.

The list for the class also stated that we need reference photos, which made sense since the landscape was also part of the class.

I go to print some of my most fabulous photos, and the printer runs out of black ink. No problem, I have bought a large box of various colored inks for my printer. Only one problem is as I discover, there is no black ink, only the primary colors. I try and command it to print using all colors to make black but NO GO.

I call Larry is a panic. Liz says, bring the laptop! Duh...the files are on the laptop (the desktop is done for) so I haul it along in the pouring rain to the workshop. I am a few minutes late.

When I get there, people, all three of us are arriving and setting up. A few moments later the teacher shows. We spend 1/2 hour of our precious three hours setting up a still life. I inquire about the combo still life/landscape class, and the teacher states it is a still life class.

NOW I HATE STILL LIVES. Had I knows this, I would have never taken the class. However, he is accommodating, and is willing to work with both.

As we are setting up and trying to figure out what to do, one of the students leaves rather disgustedly as she thought the teacher was going to demo how he works. He says no, and that seals the deal for her. She is out.

Now I paid 110.00 for the class, so I am sticking with it. I figure that I need to face my fears and my dislike of the still life. Plus, there is only one other student in the class, so we have the teacher's undivided attention. I find out that I could have worked in regular oils, and saved myself a lot of money, but in one way I am curious about these water based oils. So be it.

It was in interesting class, and I did learn some things. There is always something to be learned from other artists. I cannot judge it yet as I have only just begun my sketch and tomorrow's three hours could change my life. I do not want to paint just like the artist, I want to paint in my own surreal style. (ps my painting is seen above in a very early stage).

HOWEVER----the building was dark and dimly lit, unlike the other wonderful studio I had painted in, and was unheated save for a small space heater. It was 50 degrees out and quite rainy, making it quite cold and damp. I only had on sneakers for the cold cement floor, and a thin tee-shirt with a zippered hoodie for warmth. Fortunately I had JUST bought an adorable cap for my rides in the convertible, so I donned that for warmth.

After three hours I was ready to leave. I was chilled to the bone, and used my heated seats in the car for the first time.

I was thankful that I was going for a massage, and Gina had the heat in the room turned way up, as well as the wool warming sheet for the massage table.

I do not regret going, as I have indeed learned something, but I am disappointed that the class was not what it was advertised as, and felt that it was lacking in content.
I will write a letter, and request a credit towards another class. I spent money I could have saved, got a crappy cold space to work in, and can only hope that the spoken (not demonstrated)knowledge of the teacher will be invaluable by the end of class.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's final installment.

Peace out

Patti O Painter

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