I took a lesson, once. Just once. My sister was taking art lessons, and this one summer day I went along and paid the fee and sat in this woman's basement and painted a small picture of an owl.
She hung it in a showing at the local art gallery. It's framed, somewhere - probably my parents' barn.
I don't think I even once took an art course in high school, barring photography and technical drafting classes, and I certainly know I didn't in college. I'm a doodler more than anything, and I know I can't sketch or draw worth a damn. But there's just something about painting that intrigued me for years. I didn't bother trying to get into it, though - after all, my sister was officially The Artistic One. You know how, when there are multiple siblings in the family, you compartmentalize yourselves and each other in order to stand out? My brother was The Athletic One. I'm The Bookworm. My sister is The Artist.
Of course we all had the annoying habit of blurring things, what with my brother also being a drummer and my sister playing flute and guitar and my sister and I both singing and being actors and all three of us being involved in sports played out on a diamond-
Hello, I'm BlissBob DigressionPants.
Aside from all that, there's also the cost of art supplies, and not feeling a real DRIVE to it and having so many other things already taking up my time/attention/money/sanity, it just wasn't worth it to drop the cash it would take for a decent starter set for painting not knowing if it'd do it for me. Not, that is, until I was out of college, working at Barnes & Noble, and there was a gift item that was already cheaper than it would be in a specialty store that was discounted, and there were enough that I was able to set one aside during one of my shifts to purchase after I got off at the employee discount. I got a tabletop french easel that looks pretty much like this one:
It's got three sections inside the box; one is filled with a small array of Tempra, Oil, and Acrylic paints. The center one has a few small wooden stretchers and a couple paintbrushes. The other has a bottle of linseed oil, a palette knife, and a little plastic cup. There's also a wooden palette. Over time, it has come to also house two plastic palettes, another plastic cup, a broader range of brushes, and a loose lot of acrylic tubes of paint.
I still have yet to bother at all with the Tempra paint (reminds me of elementary school), and have pretty much been puzzled by and avoidant of the oils. Pretty much all my painting since I got the box have been with acrylics. I've been interested in the oils, but just... felt like I should get some sort of training on how to do it right before I even popped them open.
Today, I said, "Screw that. I have Google and Youtube."
So I spent about an hour searching for text and video instruction on oil painting. A large chunk of it, unfortunately, skipped over what it was I was looking for - either it was basic to the point of just outlining what tools you should by, or presumed you already know how to set up a palette and mix your paint, and jumped right into applying color to canvas. Bastards. But I am not exactly a dumb Bliss, so I pretty much worked it out, and busted out some blue oil paint and some oil, mixed it up, and applied it as a full background wash to my canvas.
It was like a revelation. This was what I had always imagined that painting SHOULD feel like! The brush just gliiiiiiiides across the canvas spreading pigment in its wake, and I can lay a whole bunch out before blending it to an even shade across without worrying about it drying in mere minutes. It was like painting with butter. Hell, it was painting with oil, and it was beautiful.
Now it's hanging on the wall in my bedroom; by tomorrow night it should be dry enough for me to do the next layer of my work. :D