October 19, 2008

My First Painting.

Now that I have disclosed the fact that I create oil paintings in my spare time (or at least used to), I thought I would share my art. This is a photograph of a painting that hangs in my living room just above my red sofa.
It is perhaps not my best painting, but it is my first. There are many flaws in it, but bearing in mind I was only 17 years old when I made it, it is not half as bad. The apples are a bit off, but I think I managed to capture the blue velvet cloth perfectly. Considering that I only could paint it once a week and had to find and arrange (or rearrange) all the items every time I did, it could have been worse. I painted this in an evening class that I attended once week, when I was a teenager. I was the youngest there at that time, as no one was below 40 and I felt badly out of place to begin with. The class was held in studio in the attic of an old building, and I recall the exposed beams of the wooden roof and the prevailing smell of turpentine and cigarette smoke. I was surrounded by people that longed to express themselves and did so. The teacher, an artist himself, was excellent. His way of teaching was very indirect, but very effective. He had one rule only; we were not allowed to paint from photographs or pictures, he urged us to paint “live” real things. Only “still life”. The studio was filled with all kind of “stuff”; statues, vases, furniture, flowers, cutlery, old books, clothes, fabrics, jewelry - anything an artist might find inspiring. All except fruit or vegetables, which we had to bring ourselves. His way of teaching was to give us free hands. “Please just paint what you see!”, he used to say while smoking heavily. He would then start walking around between the easels, in the quiet room, the only distant sound would be the music of Edit Piaf or Billy Holiday, streaming from aging records played by an old turntable. As he would pass us, from time to time, he would look at the paintings quietly, correcting or helping out with the mixing of the right colors, pointing out errors, suggesting corrections, showing tricks with a brush, telling us how to see the light and the colors.
I have forgotten about this first “art piece” of mine for years, well decades. I think it was stored forgotten in boxes, moved between several attics and basements, until it at one point got damaged being stored in my parents shed. My father, who enjoys painting himself found it and restored it. He had it framed and my parents gave it to me as a house-warming gift when I bought my first house.


Diane said...

It's beautiful!! You are really talented!!

And I keep going back to the whole, 'you think TP stuck on my shoe is interesing?'!!!! ;)

Zuzana said...

Diane, you make me laugh so much, I can't wait to talk to you in person! And thank you for your compliments on my somewhat naive art.:)

Diane said...

I'm dull as dirt in person. You can ask anyone ;).

As for art, Ryan's coloring pages are less naive than what I conjure up. There are talented artists in my family... but that's one gene I did NOT inherit!

Zuzana said...

I so totally do not believe you are dull Diane! :)
As for art, I believe we are all talented in our own way, in one way or another.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Nice work! After years of illustration work I'm just starting to learn oils for the first time. It all feels a bit like floundering around in a swamp at the moment! I'm used to the speed of gouache and ink.

Nice blog! (I found you through Princess G).

Zuzana said...

Thank you for you kind compliments Stevyn!

I always found oil to be very rewarding, as it dries slowly and gives you time to change the layout around and correct mistakes.;)
Water colors on the other hand I find are unforgiving and the artist needs to work fast and with a very sure hand. Or perhaps it is all a matter of practice.
I have never tried ink.

By the way, I was considering being an illustrator once, long time ago.;)

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Hazel Designs said...

You are so talented - this painting is wonderful. I hope you continue with it!

Donna said...

Great painting! Keep at it!

Zuzana said...

Thank you so much Hazel and Donna.:)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Zuzana!!! You are fantastic!!! The more I get to know you, the more I realize what a kindred spirit you truly are!!! I'm so delighted with my wonderfully good fortune in meeting such a friend as you...Love, Janine XO