I bet you think this post is going to be about knitting……well no, not this time, although it may get a mention. My dearly beloved has taken up drawing as the first step in learning to paint. Pictures I mean. (He’s already had plenty of practice painting the house inside and out.) What brought this on? Well he happened to mention sometime ago that he thought he would like to try painting as a retirement pastime. Shortly after hearing that comment I spotted this article on my LinkedIn articles feed and sent DB a copy. That cemented the thought, the recommended book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, was in his Christmas stocking and we’ve been out hunting down the list of art materials to get started.
Paris is the perfect place to start painting for sure. All that history of poor starving artists in cold attic studios in Montmartre must hopefully rub off on the psyche of enthusiastic amateurs. For more inspiration there are still artists aplenty in Montmartre. Although touristy, it is quite enjoyable to take a stroll around Place du Tertre up by Sacre Coeur, and watch the artists sketching portraits and dabbing at their watercolours and oils.
The practical aspects are well taken care of here with wonderful art supply shops that tempt beyond current capabilities. We’ve sussed out the art supplies at the Beaux Arts department at the BHV store on rue de Rivoli and the Sennelier shop on Quai Voltaire on the right bank of the Seine just along from Musee d’Orsay. The Sennelier boutique has been around since 1887 so they have a fair bit of experience behind them. The store is a treasure trove of art material and colour.
Despite temptation DB was of course admirably restrained and bought only what was needed for the moment. The expedition to the art shop reminded me of sourcing the new school year stationery items only way more exciting; the pencils are super special, named and numbered each for a different purpose, the paper is properly thick and sturdy and three types of erasers are required for different effects.
Now he is working his way through the right-brain exercises prescribed in Betty Edwards’ book. The first masterpiece is a little way off, but as cheese makers know, good things take time.
Now we can pursue creative interests together. My knitting and his painting; as the article that set this off proposed, these are “pastimes that lift the spirits.”