Find your Right Brain!

My earliest years recall young classmates' ability to draw a human-looking face. I could not get beyond a stickman and I think that came from playing 'hang man' with friends. I longed to draw a cartoon at the very least. Thankfully, I learned at seven that I could play piano so I took lessons from 7 right up through 18 years of age and excelled in music for life. I continued to long for the doodling on paper in class and finally gave up. Many years later, the desire to draw anything returned and I spotted a book in Crown Books "Drawing from the right side of the brain." 

I had not connected the brain and the hand doodle and after intensely following instructions, on my first attempt, I drew my darling husband relaxing in a recliner across from me in the living room. Our German Shepherd was lying next to the chair relaxing as well. Non-moving targets was a start. When my husband and Shep awoke, the pencil drawing was on a table at eye level and I was out of the room. I heard movement and returned to see my husband photographing my drawing. He was thrilled with the perfect capture of himself, the chair, the Shep. I laughed. A pencil drawing. Hmm. I admit it did look like him and the Shep looked like herself and even the recliner looked good. I named this my 'one time art piece' as I was not able to do this again. There was a 'zone' that the book brought to me but try as I might, that zone did not return.  Until?  9 years later, my second drawing was copying the cover of Bucky Katt just because I was mentally drawn to it. I was stunned to look down and see what the pencil in my hand had done. This gem has been magneted to the refrigerator in Mariposa since 1995. Husband put it there; it remains there. He loves it.

Proficient at Piano, I always wanted to play guitar and one night I was invited to see a fine female musician who played guitar almost as great as Eric Clapton, my hero. She sang, played and I could not wait for her break so I could talk to her. She told me to 'give it a shot.' The next day, I retrieved a flyer left on our doorstep and I dialed a number. When a male voice answered I asked, "Would you teach an old lady how to play guitar?" The answer was a solid "Yes and the first lesson is free so you can 'give it a try.'" I told him I did not have an instrument and he said he had plenty so 2 days later, I began my first of a spring & summer of guitar lessons. Husband brought me to music store and he picked out the guitar I should have based on what he had owned himself and (sadly) gave up. A beautiful instrument and I know the importance of having a quality item with which to make music or the effort is futile. I had a grand time. I even had picked up a Ukelele to help my fingers adjust to wrapping themselves into contortions no piano player could fathom. The Uke is so easy if you know any music because you play chords and have a singalong alone or with others nearby. I could play anything by ear with piano and now with Uke. Guitar is another story. It is a huge commitment and I was doing well until my teacher 'fired' me. Imagine that? A music teacher fired me! But - That's another story. I was sad but not in mood to switch to another teacher having experienced years of growing out of teachers with my piano. Most students will outgrow many music teachers quickly. I am thinking that is why I was fired.

Fall had finally arrived, tourists left SB and one night I received an email from Melon with a link to view a place in SB named "Painted Cabernet." She knows my life long desire to draw. She knew I was fired musically speaking and begged me to seek out PCab. I read the deal. Sign up, drink wine, be handed a canvas, paint palette, brushes and PAINT. Right! No thank you. Drink & Paint? Nah. Months went by and then Jen begged me to go with her to PC as she was going with a neighbor who had a group table and it would be good for me where I could hide among her friends and they would leave me alone. Good! I went. They all immediately poured down wine, ate cheese and canapés and I viewed the scene around me. Many tables filled with people. Tables of 4, 5, 6 .. 12.. etc. A canvas plus brushes and water for washing was on the table in front of each chair. People milled around casually directing each other to go to the paint table, grab a palette and dab on it enough paint of each color and then take your seat. Soon the instructor went to podium in front of room and began to instruct the group on how we were going to paint a scene of Venice. First thing I thought of was "rats." I have a rat phobia. I see rats in my mind when Venice is mentioned but I was quickly distracted by "pick up the fat brush and dip it in blue and do this....." The winos were giggling and trying to paint a straight blue line without a ruler and not doing that well but.. hey, they seemed to be having fun. After about the fourth directive, I was gone from the program. I recall dabbing paint and slapping on canvas with wild abandon. I cared not what I was achieving, just that the colors were blending and the more painted. dabbed and slathered the better the canvas looked to me. I was drinking tea. Soon, I sensed people around me - on sides and behind and I heard chatter. I knew from the regular art dabblers that outsiders from the main drag in town would wander in to see the budding artists and could view the class at work. I did not look up, I did not stop, I ignored. Soon I saw classmates from my table looking at my 'art' and all immediately realized it was nothing like what they were painting. They began raving in aww at my 'thing' and I would soon see that their canvases looked nothing like mine. Finally, they broke my concentration and I stopped. I sat back and stared at my now colorful canvas and burst out laughing.

What was funny? What a piece of junk and once again, I knew I would never be able to draw anything, even with specific instructions from an artist. I could not follow the program and I broke every rule. Well, I am a rule breaker so... what could I expect? Picasso? My husband has his hands full with my photographs as I break a lot of photography rules but I love them and others do as well. Just a nonconformist, I guess. ( What DID happen after PC class was continued frustration to the point that I began painting ghoulish scenes on photoshop canvas of 'incidents' experienced on any given night out on the town. See the one above for example. I brought copies to the victims in my scenes who demanded a large size copy that they framed for their homes. )

Wrapping up, when I first tried 'art' on computer several years ago, my husband immediately put my one and only piece on our website. It's amusing as I recall the attempt. It's in the fun section so I'm ok with it but now? I am appalled at what is on the site also in fun section. My husband, who documented by photo the entire evening at Painted Cab, took my completed canvas from that fateful night, framed it, photographed it, hung it in our family room and put in on our website. He sent it in email to scads of people like a proud papa. Am I missing something? Will this and the other few drawings I did some day be priceless, lost art found at someone's garage sale? Maybe you should keep your eyes peeled.