Painting class was successful for me today; I'm getting closer to finishing the current painting even though I did not paint during this past week. Today I learned another good lesson from Sharon. She talked to me at the end of the class about how long it was taking me to finish this one. Oh, it wasn't a bad discussion. Two weeks ago I had said that I was ready to have this one finished, and Sharon gave the why of that fact considerable thought.
She pointed out that each time I start a new work, I try something different. Even though the oils were landscapes, each one had some element that I had never done before. She knew from The Road to the Lake that I can paint buildings and handle the perspective so the buildings in this latest one weren't what was delaying me. The latest painting, Raking the Hay, taught me how to do a tractor so I was confident about painting the trolley and the car. Then she realized that even though I had painted the farmer on the tractor, until this New Orleans painting, I haven't had to deal with a variety of human skin tones. And it is taking a long time to learn the right colors to mix, what colors to use as shadow and as highlights. Having pointed out all of this, she said that the time it's taking isn't something I should worry about because I'm learning something new that I can take to another painting.
Having a good teacher, that is, a teacher who can really pinpoint issues and then solve them, is treasure.