I went to an art workshop yesterday. I go to them regularly and always get something from the experience. The tutors are different in their approach and subject matter but they’re invariably happy to pass on tips about their painting techniques. This workshop was no different. The guy who did it though, was worried that if we didn’t all follow his demonstration painting, step by step, and didn’t go home with a clone of his painting, that he wasn’t doing his job properly. It took quite a bit of persuasion on my part to get the point over, that whilst I could understand that the way to learn his methods was to copy them BUT for ME to ENJOY the experience, I had to put my own artistic input into it, or else I would feel TOTALLY frustrated and uncreative. I know for me to feel happy within myself I have to create, it’s what I do. So, with what seemed to be against his better judgment, he let me do it……
The painting he wanted us all to copy was of a white waterfall, with a deep blue pool below it, tall brown rocks all around, bright green trees and bushes, all done on a nice sunny day with a pale blue sky. If we’d chosen a turquoisey blue sky the waterfall would have looked like it was on some tropical island, if we’d chosen a duller blue it would have looked like it was in a North American or European forest. When the guy started painting his picture, I was instantly interested in the technique, as it was done in oils, and a wet in wet approach (the wet paint is applied to a wet surface and creates a different effect because of it – particularly ideal for water effects in painting). He painted the sky, then the waterfall and pool below it, then the rocks, then added trees and bushes. But as I watched him, the thought came to me as to how I wanted to paint it, and what I wanted to add to the painting…….
So, here’s my version of it, with my creative input. I painted the sky at night, and added a large moon. I painted the waterfall, and kept the colours of the pool dark, the reflected moonlight showing in the ripples of the water. This meant most of the rocks would be kept dark as the pale moonlight wouldn’t highlight them, and the trees were kept dark too. But then, I needed a focal point to add interest to the painting……. and the obvious thing to me would be a unicorn, standing there pale and mysterious in the moonlight. And that was when the title of the painting came to me – “Moonstruck”! Yay, I like that, it summed the whole thing up for me. And the lovely thing about it, was that there were a lot of other people there on the workshop and everyone who stood and looked at my painting smiled broadly and said “Oh, how lovely, a unicorn!” and one person even asked me if unicorns had ever actually existed, which I thought was a lovely idea……
And then the tutor saw it, and said “Oh, Pegasus” and I explained, that no, it wasn’t! Pegasus is a horse with wings, this is a unicorn, different thing altogether!
But after the workshop I had a chat with the tutor, and by then I’d seen more of his work, and realised that he was actually a very accomplished artist, who might be turning out cloned paintings for the demonstration, but was very talented in his own right with what else he could paint. I was impressed! I told him that I’m an erotic artist, and he was immediately interested in that (why am I not surprised!!!) and said he’d look at my website. I told him that normally I would be adding a naked woman or erotic couple to the type of paintings he produced, and infact want to do that at some point, there’s something very erotic about waterfalls somehow. I don’t know why, they just are!
And, then he showed me some more of his art and it turned out that he liked erotic art too! But was concerned that on the level he works at, that he might get complaints if he showed paintings like that.
So, I came home a very happy bunny, I’d produced a dramatic and mystical painting I was really happy with.
I’d got friends coming for dinner three hours after I got back from the workshop. And it struck me, as I chopped onions, added them to the frying pan, chose my herbs and spices, peeled mushrooms, added tomato puree, and all the delicious aromas fused together, that cooking is all part of the creative process for me too. It’s a very pleasurable, sensual experience for me. My friends obviously thought so too – since they commented on how nice it all was, and wanted seconds!
So, I just need to find someone who wants to buy a unicorn painting now………………..