Yesterday I got schooled – and I loved it.
Allow me to explain.
The lovely Rachael, from my online creativity course gang, heard about a watercolour workshop being held on Tuesday evening, so she tagged me in a Facebook post.
It really grabbed my attention, and I quickly looked up the artist, Selina Braine. I couldn’t make it to the class, but I was intrigued, both by her painting style, and her obvious passion for teaching art beyond the walls of a classroom.
I saw that she offered private lessons and before you could say ‘dude, you can’t even draw’ I was emailing her with an enquiry.
Fast forward to Saturday, and I’m pulling up in her gorgeously tree-lined street, feeling a teensy bit nervous, but mostly excited.
As I come through her gate, Selina pops her head out of the front door, and I’m ushered in to her fab studio space where there’s art everywhere, books stacked waist high on one side of the room and my learning space awaits. I feel instantly welcome and like I’m in good hands.
I sit down, and before me there’s paper, brushes, and a gorgeous vignette of a polka dotted teapot, a bottle with baby’s breath exploding from its neck and a delectable looking red velvet cupcake nestling in front of the pot and bottle.
Selina’s website I Can Draw With Selina shows off the kind of artist she is. You can also find her on Instagram. Pop over and have a look, her work is utterly beautiful.
Like Maria Von Trapp teaching someone to sing, we started at the very beginning.
Colour manipulation with water. I could have painted pages and pages of slightly varying blobs of reds, greens, blues, purples, and I’m sure I will at some stage. And how rad are the egg shell tones? My kiddie palettes haven’t let me explore like this, so I’ll be upgrading my equipment pronto.
Selina had done a bit of research on me via my Instagram feed, which was why the lovely vignette on the desk included baked goods! So after we got warmed up with colours and curved lines, she asked me to do the thing I do not do – to draw.
Gulp. I was in trouble now.
I decided to quiet my inner protestations and just try. What was the worst that could happen? My drawing would suck, and I might cry. Heck, I cried at work, in the stairwell, on the street and as I ordered coffee this week… I’m clearly not afraid of crying.
So I tried… and Jimminy Crickets, I did it!
I started with an outline in pencil, then I painted the base of the cupcake, then Selina whipped out her trusty hairdryer and dried what I’d done. I layered other colours, worried it was looking crap, but secretly was feeling super stoked that it wasn’t.
I added some pencil, erased some pencil, tweaked the colour mix on the icing, listened to Selina’s guidance and gentle encouragement… I was smiling a LOT by this stage of the lesson.
It’s kind of amazing how simple it actually was to draw that cupcake. I don’t even care about whether you (or I) think it’s a good drawing or a crap drawing, it’s a drawing that I did, then painted. Woo hoo!!!
I CAN DRAW.
If you’d asked me at 1.55pm, as I walked up to Selina’s house, ‘excuse me miss, can you draw?’ I would have answered resoundingly that aside from a fetching stick figure, I could not. Fast forward an hour, I’d changed my opinion of my abilities.
How rad is that?
Next challenge, the bottle with the baby’s breath (gosh, that apostrophe is worrying me, welcome to my brain) – big gulp. This was translucent and had branches and water and teensy tiny flowers…. I was worried about getting the shape of the bottle right. Thank you eraser inventor, thank you!
I had a crack.
The colours here make me so happy. I took a little creative licence and changed the cupcake colours. I think the yellowy orange is really happy next to the brown bottle.
Here’s a thing – I am not good at negative space.
Selina kept encouraging me to stop… oops sorry teach!
The two hour lesson flew by, yet felt completely unrushed. Selina was easy to chat to as we drew, painted and explored, and I’m really looking forward to another lesson next week.
I think the thing I liked most, aside from everything, was the ease Selina has in her teaching style. There was nothing intimidating or yes ma’am-ish about the way she taught me. Really, she just guided me to do what I didn’t know I could do, while simultaneously dispensing a lot of amazing tips, tricks and techniques that I didn’t have a clue about.
I can’t wait to go back and learn more next week.
We might try painting some buildings – eeek! That seems kind of ambitious, but it didn’t stop me from pulling over repeatedly on the way home to snap shots of interesting roof lines or buildings I passed.
I think Selina’s website is perhaps the most aptly named I’ve come across, because now I can draw with Selina!
Keep creating and playing, and don’t be afraid to get schooled.
PS Don’t forget to pop over to my Instagram feed where you’ll find more #paintisaverb photos.
24 thoughts on “I got schooled! 10/2015”
You so can! Those pictures are gorgeous, well done Nettie! I love them.
My Mum was an artist and she used to say that everyone in the whole world could draw, it was just that most have never been taught. She was a big believer in doing things step by step. She explicitly taught me so many things about drawing, particularly about drawing faces (my favourite topic of all). I am so glad you have found Selina and I LOVE hearing the joy in your words!
Yay for creativity!
I think your mum was right Rach!
I had a blast with Selina. Her passion for unlocking people’s creativity is really inspiring.
And thanks, I’m a pretty happy (drawing) camper right now.
How AWESOME!!! Good on you for having the guts to do a private art lesson. Watch this space, I’m looking forward to seeing more of your drawings, paintings and art supplies. 🙂
I am SO GLAD I went Emily. I did waver a bit at the thought of spending money on art lessons, but it was totally worth every cent.
Hooray for creativity!!
I love that you were proved that you could draw in one lesson. Your watercolours look great! Well done 🙂
Thanks Carly – it was great fun.
Man. I am so proud of you. Like REALLY. This is amazing.
Grinning now! Thank you SO much Pip. Really, truly.
Who knew that first BWP course would lead me here?
Im proud of myself too.
Annette, what a lovely post. I had a tear or too well up as I read it. Thank you so much for being open to my style of teaching, and for writing about your lesson so eloquently. See you next Sat.
Oh, that’s very sweet Selina. Usually I’m the one with tears welling. I think I write best when I’ve been inspired.
I don’t have to decide this week what kind of painter I want to be, do I? I’d like to try everything.
Oh I am SO happy for you. Yay for the universe. Yay for Blog with Pip. Yay for Selina (she sounds AWESOME). Love your cupcake and can’t wait to see where this takes you. Yay for journeys!
Biggest YAY to you for making the connection!! Thank you so much
go Annette! … all I can say is fantastic! … joy!
Ah! I was wondering whether or not you’d managed to get to the art class! That looks so great Annette, I’ve always been intimidated by watercolours. Love your drawings though, funny how so often we say we can’t do something (and genuinely believe it) but often all we need is a little guidance, self-belief, and the patience to try.
Could be just what you need to discover how much fun watercolours are!! A year ago I would have never guessed I’d be pursuing creative things with so much joy.
Super fun and awesome! What an amazing thing to do. This made me super happy to read. This requires some kind of IG hashtag!
I’m so glad it made you happy! Me too!! I’m rocking #verbslearnstopaint as well as #paintisaverb
Go you! You can SO draw! I love love love your cupcake, I want to see them everywhere 🙂
And I had a giggle at the apostrophe moment xoxo
It’s a heavy burden being a grammar nerd!!
You really can! I’d love to do something totally random and FUN like this. Well done, Annette.
There are fun, creative opportunities lurking everywhere – I found an opportunity and just took it. Going back for three more lesson. Can’t wait!
Oh Annette these look lovely ! I am so happy for you. x
Thanks Karen! Your creativity inspires me.