Me and Oil Paints Don't Mix

For some reason I have never been able to get the hang of painting. Granted that I never had an art class before college (shocking, I know) so I was not really able to practice like every other art kid I knew in college who had taken art classes in middle or high school.

My very first painting class was actually really awesome. I felt cofident even though I had no skills compared to others. Plus, my teacher was sarcastic and had a dark humor so I liked her a lot even though half the class thought she was terrible. She wasn't bad at all. In a way, I guess she reminded me of myself but as an older lady. (I could spend an entire blog post talking about her but that will be saved for another day.)

The next painting class I took was with a completely different teacher. Since day one, I had gotten a really bad vibe from her. I tried to ignore it but as the semester went on, I just wanted to throw turpentine on her. She was very peculiar and always wanted me to do things a certain way. She even asked me once why I paint so oddly. I told her that one: I had never taken painting classes until a semester ago, two: I was primarily a printmaker, and three: I wanted to go into design but I didn't get accepted into the program. She scoffed at me being a printmaker and said that it was such an outdated form. Then her and the TA decided to basically to write off a whole list of art professions that didn't have to deal with painting. That same day, another girl who was also a printmaker mentioned that she wanted to be an illustrator. My teacher's faced dropped and basically told her that there weren't that many illustration jobs and that our school was meant for "serious academic artists" and not for people who wanted to paint cartoons. I found this kind of ironic because one of her star painters wanted to be a game designer and all he ever did was anime/manga-like paintings. Clearly this woman played favoritism. She was also really judgemental about our ideas and anything to deal with culture was automatically written of as folk art and she hated it. Another thing was that she let people in our class to also use acrylics instead of oil and even let some girl do embroidery on canvas but she didn't want to let me use watercolor because I probably would be able to handle it. Jokes on you lady, I had taken watercoloring classes before and I excelled in them. So all in all, I basicallly started to hate painting because she drove me nuts and put a lot of bad thoughts in my head.

After that class, I promised myself that I would never do painting again. With my luck, I was forced to take another painting class because there were no other art classes available that worked with my schedule. This time around I had a teacher named John Yancey. He was this tall older black man who had an awesome voice and was always super chill. He was always interested in everybody's stories, their background, and appreciate different types of art forms. He was the painting version of Lee Chesney who was the head of the printmaking department, which later we found out that they both shared an office together. Anyways, John made me feel comfortable with painting again but I was still always on edge. I told him how my last painting teacher destroyed me and he understood how it affected the way I worked. To make me feel better he would talk to me about my Hispanic-Latin@ art club, politics of being a PoC, and even talked to me about printmaking. John Yancey gave me hope in painting again.

Finally it's been a year and a half later and I've decided to pick up a paint brush again. I still feel those negative emotions nipping at my neck but I'm trying to push passed it. I told myself that if I wanted to be a better artist and learn to be more confindent, I needed to push passed my comfort zone and practice every medium there is. 


So here I am back at square one and I'm trying.