I’ve always wanted to try painting. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE quilting, but sometimes I’m impatient with how long it can take to see the end result of a project and while there are some amazing landscape and art quilters out there, so far I am incapable of capturing a scene or an idea in fabric. My grandfather was a wonderful painter, as are two of my aunts, a cousin, and my sister-in-law (check out her work). Their work inspires me and fills me with envy and I fantasize about what it must be like to be able to render a beautiful landscape or still life. Secretly, I also wonder if some of their talent has rubbed off on me.
|The only drawing my instructor liked.|
A couple of years ago I dipped my toe in the water and signed up for a drawing class thinking it was a logical first step towards painting. At first I thought I was doing pretty well. My instructor, however, repeatedly asked me "What is it going to take to get you to let go?" This, of course, really helped me to free myself.
|Yes, it's an apple.|
Anyway, I’ve managed to put off the decision for several weeks, but over the weekend I had a conversation with my daughter that finally tipped the scales. My daughter has been planning to join her school’s Drama Club, until she found out last week that she would have to sing as part of her audition. She is 13, with all that entails, and even though she really wants the chance to do a fun activity with her friends, she doesn’t think singing is her thing and she may not try out.
I found myself alone in the car with my daughter on Saturday and while I had a captive audience (trapping your child in the car is so effective!), I gave her the following advice: "You should try it, you might like it and you might be really good at it!" and "Even if you aren’t amazing, it would probably be so much fun!" and "I’d hate to see you let your fear of looking foolish keep you from trying something new!" and, my personal favorite, "You won’t grow as a person if you don’t try something new."
In the midst of parenting, it occurred to me that I had an opportunity to lead by example. So I’m finally going to sign up for an actual painting class. Hopefully I will be able to let go and have fun and be inspired with new ideas that I can carry over to quilting. Maybe I'll discover that I do possess a hidden talent and I’ll turn out to be the next Picasso, or maybe I’ll discover that I should stick with painting house trim. Either way, at least I’ll be facing my fears and in so doing, I hope I can inspire my children to do the same.