The Making Of An Artist

                                                                                  A Newsletter By Artists-For Artists                        Volumn 1

By Cassondra Foxpool-

This is my first newsletter, so I will tell you a bit about myself. My name is Cassondra Foxpool. I live in Port St. Lucie, Florida and I spend my summers in Iowa, where my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live. I am an artist. I wasn’t always an artist, nor had I dreamed all my life of becoming an artist. I didn’t go to a fancy art school or college to learn how to paint. I’ve had various careers in my lifetime; none of them as an artist. This is how it happened.

One day there was an interview in our local newspaper about Linda Relis, an accomplished artist. (Someday I will interview her for my newsletter and she can share her insight with us.) Linda had all the formal training that I lacked. Reading that she taught classes locally, I thought, ‘Why not?’

I called Linda to get the particulars and found out she taught fine art-oil painting. Always a risktaker, I signed up. I wasn’t sure if I had the talent to paint, or the patience, or the creativity or the drive. I just thought it sounded interesting, would be fun to try and would fill the extra time I found since retiring.

Oh, it was such fun shopping for the supplies on the list Linda had given me! Michael’s and Hobby Lobby became my favorite stores, and they both offered coupons of 40% – 50% off. I made certain that the higher priced items were purchased with these coupons.

When my husband saw the results of my shopping, he asked, “Do you really need all that?”

I have to admit that I bought more than was on the supply list. Unable to decide which type of brush to buy, I bought ten of them. Do you know there are quite a number of pallet types out there? Oh, and so many beautiful colors of paint. I bought new pencils and erasers even though there were some at home. And I just couldn’t stop myself from buying six canvases. Yes, I could definitely have gotten by with a lot less.

“Boy, you’d better create a real masterpiece with all that stuff,” he teased.

The night before class I began to get a little nervous. I felt a bit of pressure to make the investment worthwhile and produce, if not a masterpiece, at least an acceptable painting. Mostly, the pressure came from myself. Being competitive and driving myself to see challenges to the end, I don’t like to lose. I knew that I couldn’t even draw a good circle without a canning-jar lid to trace around. Maybe we would be painting pre-printed pictures like in a coloring book?
When I got to Linda’s art studio, it was a relief to see that I was not the only novice attending. There were two other new students that day. Seeing a few ‘seasoned’ students there, and the level of work they were doing was very encouraging.
“You’ll only be using one color of paint today, and one brush and some rags. And by the time this three-hour class is over, you will have a completed painting to take home with you.” Linda told us. I thought she sure had a lot of confidence in someone who can’t draw a good circle.
That day we painted a chiaroscuro, which literally means the placement of light and shade in a picture. I was afraid to make the first mark on the canvas. What if I did it wrong and messed it up? Well, it may be a difficult word to pronounce, but with Linda’s guidance we all completed our chiaroscuro painting that day.
I couldn’t wait to get home and show off my creation! I was so proud of it! Would my husband see the beauty in all that burnt umber? I shouldn’t have given it another thought. He loved it! He asked if I really did it or if the teacher did it? (He’s seen my circles.) When I showed my friends they said I was a natural. (I have really good friends.) At my age, I didn’t know I still had days ahead when I would be celebrating new accomplishments.
I felt proud of the accomplishment, but Linda had told us that we would be using two colors next week. Now I wondered what she had in store for us. If I could do it…you can do it.

Stay tuned.

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Students in Linda’s classes (myself included) currently have an exhibition at:

The Artist Nest Gallery

6550 S. Federal Highway

Port St. Lucie, Fl.

for the entire month of February, 2013.
Call 772-882-4344 for gallery hours

 My First Oil Painting

My First Oil Painting

This is my chiaroscuro.
When I sold that painting, my husband really didn’t want me to sell it. I told him not to worry, I could paint another one in three hours.