Journal of a Mouse

Monday, October 10, 2005


The last two days I have been painting this bouquet of flowers in a weekend drawing class. We were seven people. Some were from the drawing class I had attended the past two semesters, some from a watercolor class my teacher is teaching. So we could either draw in pastels or use watercolors. Because I love doing the details I didn´t even finish my painting, while everybody else was doing two different pictures... *LOL*
In the beginning I intended to draw some pumpkins and a vase, but my heart craved to draw the bouquet of flowers... So while fear told me I could never ever do this, because I didn´t even know where to start, I told myself to try it anyway. I feared more that I would probably never try this at home, where noone could help me if I needed it. Well, my teacher didn´t help me either. Instead she rather intimidated me. She said I was painting well, BUT that this was not the right medium for me. It would be better for me to try painting in goache... She said that painting in watercolors was all about colors flowing into each other. That she thinks about something different when she thinks of a watercolor painting. Like what she is doing (that´s what she meant, although she didn´t say it). All wet-in-wet technique. But I said, I thought there were no rules. She thinks there are. I told her that many botanical illustrations are done in watercolor, but she said that they are done mostly in goache...
When I started the vase in class, because I thought it would be better to try it there, so she could help me, she just started criticising me for doing something that was still too diffucult for me. But I like doing difficult things. It´s more interesting to me. So what, if I ruin the vase but the rest still looks good? So what if I don´t get everything perfect? I have never done anything this difficult before! I´m amazed it already looks THIS good, for god´s sake! When I asked for help she couldn´t even explain how to do it. She just said that this is not the right way. So I asked, if she could show me on a different sheet of paper. But she said it wouldn´t help, because she would do it so differently. Great! So how do I go about? I don´t mind to being criticised, if it´s helpful. That´s why I went to this stupid class! But I had this feeling that she just could not bear I was already as good as I am. Maybe because she had tried to explain some basics to me, only to realize that I could already do that. I think that it bugged her. Although I listened to her and acknowledged what she did. I didn´t offend her in any way. But I think it offended her that I could already do it. So what was I to do? Pretend that I could not?
I decided to work out how to draw the vase at home. She gave me the bouquet and the vase to go on painting at home, but I was feeling intimidated today, so I didn´t work on it anymore. Stupid, ha? But I have looked up techniques on flower illustration and found out, I´m using the watercolor with too much water on my brush (the picture is a little paler in reality). So I can use watercolor! I do not need to use goache to get the colors more intense! Although I will try it anyway. Because maybe it is something I will like. But still I hate the way she said all that. It was the way she was saying all of that. Afterwards, even the other people in my class did not say anything about my painting anymore, whereas in the morning they had all ooohd and aaahd about it. I think they where afraid of falling from our teachers grace. So be it.
I have looked up how other illustrators do their botanical illustrations. And some do use goache. But many of those use it only to work in the highlights. Ha!
I´m glad I don´t go to her regular classes anymore... I need somebody else.
When I think about it, I think it all has to do with me telling her the weekend before that I want to go into the illustration business one day. I had shown her my Bird Picture before and she thought it was cute. But when I told her about my plans she said that they would not work out. That I needed to go to art school first. That it would be too tough to get published without a degree. When I told her that I know about a few artists who do get published even though they have never seen the insides of an art school, she just said: "Who knows, if that is true." I said that I knew it would not be easy, that I knew I would need more experience before I could do it, that I didn´t depend on it for a living, beause I could always work with my law degree... She still shook her head at me. So now you know it wasn´t just the examination blues I had last week... Although somewhere deep within I still believe I will make it! It´s just a matter of time and more practice. I won´t let anyone take my dream away ever again! NO!


At 8:43 AM, Blogger Alina Chau said...

Love your blog!! Great posting, nice artworks!

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Marianne said...

What a terrible teacher!! And don't worry... it's always difficult getting work published... degree or no degree ;-)

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Marieke said...

Well hello Bea the Mouse, I thought it's about time I returned your visits to my blog. I'm ashamed not have done that more often, because from what I see here I absolutely should have!

Your paintings are so beautiful and I really enjoyed your bird one. Don't let that teacher take away your spirit, you hear me... I absolutely think that there isn't just one way to use a specific medium. And I even believe that someone who thinks that shouldn't be teaching. I think a teacher not only should teach how it's done the normal way but also to try out and "think outside the box"

But I now exactly how you feel. My art teacher also gave me the feeling that everything I did was wrong, mostly because I was using lots of blue's in my painting and somehow he hated blue. So I've stopped going to his art class and started painting at home wich bye the way I now do less because of my feltwork.

So you go girl and simply follow your dreams because they are your strongest motivator!!

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Hanna said...

Thanks for charing the story and the beautiful watercolour page! Some people should not be teatchers, thats for sure!

I do use watercolours like you too, and that is just fine! Drawing a picture then colouring it in, with water colours not at all using wet on wet! Go girl!

Love your yellow too, it soooo cute and funny! And thanks for sharing the sketches, really nice to see how you've worked all your way to that cute pic!

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Lilorfnannie said...

That is a very pretty picture, I do hope you post the finished version. :-)

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Thanks for your support everybody! It means a lot to me and it helps beat my inner critic a LOT, too!

Alina: Thanks for the compliments! I visited your blog in return and I love your sketches very much!

Marianne: I admire everybody who went to art school and hasn´t let teachers there discourage them, as I´m sure she is not the only difficult teacher... ;-)

Marieke: Thanks for your encouragement and the compliments! It´s so nice to hear about your own experiences with art teachers! And I hope you´ll find the time to paint once in while, too (and using as much blue as you want
;-))! Although I love your feltwork a lot! So beautiful, and funny, and cute :0)

Hanna: A lot of thanks to you, too, for your support and the compliments on my pictures! Nice to hear you are also painting in this way!

Lilorfnannie: I will post the finished picture. Just might take a little while, because I´m working very slowly...

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Tine said...

My goodness und holler die Waldfee, Bea!! This painting is AMAZING!!! So sensitive and beautiful how you worked with the colors, just amazing. Your talent boggles my mind. I love the leafs so much and how the colors just naturally flow. WOW!!!

Listen to you rhear and your own voice. That's all you need to hear Bea!!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Bea said...

Thank you so much,Tine! I´m so glad you like it! In the past I have often been a little ashamed of my sensitive side that now seems to show in my pictures. Maybe, because I´ve been criticised for being overly sensitive too often. But these days I start to see it as a good thing. And anyway - that´s just part of who I really am.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Bea said...

And I´m not OVERLY sensitive. No.

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous tine said...

Exactly. Bea! It was the same way for me, too. I am starting to embrace it that I am more sensitive to people. It IS a good thing!!! :-D


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