I’ve taken a recent hiatus from my love of photography to explore painting again.
Two years ago , I took a leave from my job at the credit union to go with my husband to Vancouver for a year. He was working for Kwantlen Polytechnic University and I signed up for fine arts classes and began exploring life as a student. Although I found going back to school full time after 25 years extremely challenging, I loved it! Especially, the painting and drawing classes.
My main motivation for wanting to take a drawing and then a painting class was purely out of curiosity . I wanted to know if I could! The late Garry Thurber, my father, was a very talented painter and sculptor and I wanted to know if he had passed down any of his creative genes to me. I had not painted anything except a windowsill since my high school art class in 1979!
I’ve been taking an art class with a local artist here in Saskatoon and I’m slowly finding the courage to show my friends and family my paintings. They are saying that they can see my dad’s style in mine and I am very complimented, but does that mean he has influenced my work, or I am copying his? I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I like to think that even in death, he has become my teacher and my mentor.
When I am trying to figure out how to paint something for the first time, I find myself staring at some of his earlier paintings (I feel very lucky to own a few great ones from the early 80’s) and I really study the way he painted his skies, his trees, his rocks and even the snow. I study the lines in the trees, the depth in the shadows, how the light falls and which direction the wind was blowing . And, at times, I feel like he is talking to me through that canvas. I hear him say ,” Michelle, you need more clouds – give that sky a pop of color, use pink and orange and don’t be afraid to put hint of yellow or mauve in that snow !” It sounds silly, I know!
Because I grew up watching him paint, I feel like I want to carry on the love of his style through my own paintings. Does that make sense? Maybe I just answered my own earlier question!
Dad got to see one of the paintings I did for my first year painting class before he passed away, and he told my he loved my sky! That was a very momentous day for me!
I’m blogging today first of all, because it’s been a long time – my last post was over a year ago! And, I am excited for another reason! I have just emptied my first full tube of paint! Laugh if you must, butI think it’s a monumental occasion and I am going to call myself a painter someday- lol!