While I was in graduate school I often thought of what I would do after I finished. Oh yes, I definitely was going to continue working full-time, but the time spent studying, for me, had to be replaced. Never one to sit quiet, I’m used to keeping myself busy. For the past 3 years or so, I looked forward to painting. I’d never painted before and had no idea if I would like it — or even be good at it (still don’t know if I am). But it didn’t matter. The thought of swirling colors on a palette, seeing the variance in hues and tones, and slathering wet paint on a white untouched canvas seemed…well, liberating.
Promptly after graduating I registered for an acrylic painting class at a local fine arts center. After purchasing the supplies — 3 brushes, 4 tubes of paint (is that all?), a canvas and a roll of paper towel, I excitedly waited for the first night of class. The instructor has a MFA in painting and is a kind and patient teacher. At our initial class we painted our color palette with primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and then secondary colors (green, orange, purple). Oh I how loved twirling the colors together to form different variations…and with only 3 tubes of primary colors and a tube of white I was able to create almost every color I desired. Black, gray, brown and purple became challenging for me, but I figured it out.
ast forward three years and I now belong to an artist coöperative, have had eight exhibitions (two were solo) and paint about twice a week (not enough!). Painting has easily replaced ‘studying’ and for me is a form of therapy. When I paint I let my mind go free, never knowing what I will paint until the brush hits the canvas.
I guess I may be a bit unconventional as I don’t paint from a still life or photograph. I have painted some pieces from my memories of the beautiful Black Hills in the winter — snowcapped pine trees, softly lit pink skies. I admire the work of Cy Twombly, so have tried to paint my own type of flowers. And I’m trying my hand at abstract (the paintings below). Using pumice, modeling compounds, different painting implements, and water has allowed the paint to express itself on the canvas rather than me controlling the paint. Where it goes and where it stops is up to the paint, not the artist.
No, I don’t plan on ‘quitting my day job’ and becoming a full-time painter but I’m both thankful and fortunate to portray my many inspirations thru paint. There is so much more I want to paint — the sensuality of a nude woman’s silhouette, the autumn evening sky…ideas churn around and inspire me for my next project.
“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” ~ Pablo Picasso
Written by Ms. Renee Vevea. Paintings by Renee Vevea.