Way, way back in college, I’d been an Art History major. I knew even then that I wasn’t going to work in a museum or gallery — I wasn’t sophisticated, and quite frankly, I didn’t like talking or reading about art when I didn’t have to for my classes. I chose it because I’d gotten to my sophomore year, we had to choose a major, and I’d been taking an introductory art history class that was easy and therefore more enjoyable than my English or Psychiatry classes. Oh, how I wish I’d gone to college at 30 instead of 20!
The Art History major also demanded that we take a certain number of Fine Arts classes. I’d never been able to draw — which I now realize means I’d never learned to draw — and that precluded me from thinking I could ever be an artist and from diving in and being a Fine Arts major, which is what I really should’ve done in the first place. I’d thought Art belonged solely to those kids in high school who were always sitting around with sketchbooks and didn’t even mind when you looked over their shoulders, because their lines were always strong and sure, so unlike the timid little scratches I created whenever I’d give drawing a try. Instead, for these Fine Arts classes, I stuck with the decorative arts, jewelry and ceramics, which seemed like something a non-artist like myself could do and love.
But despite my intimidation in college, I was always curious about painting. After moving to Maine with my then-new husband, Pete, I took a class at a local college which shall go nameless. Mind you, I loved the class. I bought some student-grade paints, set up a little studio in our apartment, and spent a good chunk of time attempting to paint difficult things like metal spoons. And I did learn a couple of tricks, like how to measure the relative width of things using your pencil, and how to… well, I’m sure there must’ve been other tricks; it was an expensive class. But I didn’t learn in any kind of systematic way, I never improved very much, and eventually I sold my easel and moved on to other interests and hobbies.