Wednesday, May 16, 2012

in capable hands

Months ago as a treat to myself I signed up for an art class the week of my birthday.  Yep today's my bday:)  I thought it would be cool to challenge myself and learn a new medium.  To go somewhere I'd never been before, and master a new craft.  Do something I was a little afraid of.

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is amazing and they were offering an oil pastels class at the botanical gardens.  Perfect.  I can do art outside.  It will be beautiful.  I'll be learning. 

This is my teacher Sarah.  She's wonderful.  She's been doing this for years.  She went to art school, and worked in an art supply store.  She's been teaching for some time, and has had her work shown... A LOT!

This is her art. 


It's breathtaking.  I stare at it in disbelief, because after just a few days of playing with pastels it seems like an impossibility to create anything even remotely similar to that. 

This is Jim Dine, another amazing artist.  I love his work.  She brought me these examples to show me what can be done with pastels. 

This is my "art".  That's supposed to be some trees and a grassy patch;)  It didn't quite turn out like I'd hoped.  It's my amateur attempt at creating what was right in front of me.  It's SO frustrating learning something new.  You see it, but the technique and skill are not there and no matter how hard you try it just won't take shape!  It makes me want to crumple the sheet of paper and throw it in the trash. I look at this and think I will NEVER learn how to do it.  I will never be able to make these lumps of wax and pigment into anything beautiful. 

That's my natural tendency.  If it's too difficult I just want to stop.  I'm hard on myself.  The irrational side of my brain doesn't always compute that it takes LOTS of practice to get really good at something...that it takes determination and persistence.  Impatience is always nipping at my heels. 

My teacher obviously didn't start out a master.  She's worked her way to the level she is today.  And now through her own experiences she knows just how to patiently encourage, and give praise where it's a stretch to say the least.  She won't let me give up, and I love her for that.

The fact is I'm a giant "lump" too.  I'm beyond grateful that my Creator doesn't throw in the towel and walk away when I don't behave beautifully, or when I'm less than what He intends for me.  I'm an imperfect piece of work, but with every misstep...with every attitude adjustment I'm being sculpted, and the vision He has for me is taking shape.  I'm far from a masterpiece yet, but I'm in my Master's capable hands.  What better place to be.

Have a blessed day.

576.  learning to be messy
577.  flowers, and trees and birds that sing to me
578.  friends who make me feel special
579.  the luxury of taking an art class 
580.  that i made it another year;)

581.  my girlies who surpass my skill any day of the week!

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