February MATS Bootcamp: the one where I painted!

February brought another assignment for MATS Bootcamp and after getting some inspiration from scenic decorative plates we were tasked with creating wall art by painting on a wooden circle or slice, like this one. Whoa-ho-ho. Whaa? Okay, a couple things: first, I can't help it that I flashed back a few decades when I first took a look at the wood slice. I just immediately went to wood burned mallard ducks and dark paneling. But then again, all things are made new again (hello, macramé?). Then Lilla showed us this example by artist Sarah Walsh , which she had originally painted on a wood slice and I like that. So I looked around a bit: how about this one? And this one is fun too. Well really, it's no surprise that I wouldn't know this is a thing. Barn | katherinelenius.com

Now the second issue was the painting part. I like to paint, I really do, but I don't consider myself "a painter." I was never trained as a painter and I don't know a lot of the technical aspects. I'm a recreational painter, if that's a thing. But here's what I love about art: you can start painting and just like that, you're kind of a painter. That's not to discount people who spend years training and learning the craft (painters with a capital P), but art has so many access points and I think that's one of it's best qualities. So I became a painter for a week or two. At the advice of Lilla I bought three wood slices so I wouldn't feel like it was too precious. Yet the first painting I did, seen above, is still my favorite and the piece I submitted to the gallery. It's based on a barn near my house and I've always loved the shape of it. You can see the entire gallery here, I'm on page 5. So many wonderful pieces, some done digitally, some hand-painted.

Deer | katherinelenius.com

I can say it was a different way for me to work. The texture made it difficult to get very precise lines and because I'm more of a "drawer" by nature I get very attached to my lines. And of course I miss being able to Ctrl+Z and undo things I don't like. Color is what it is and can't easily be adjusted once it's on there. All those tiny polka dots started out dark gray until I decided I wanted them to be white. Sigh. But I enjoyed myself so much! There's something about drawing and painting that can be so relaxing and meditative (and sure, frustrating at times too) that I don't find as easily when I work on the computer. After this assignment I have resolved to add more painting to my process - we'll see what turns up.

Crabapple and dogwood | katherinelenius.com