W.I.P. Wednesday : A Painting Lesson & Some Crewel

I want to learn to paint.

I’ve wanted to learn to paint for a rather long time, actually. I have always admired people who knew how to paint, and I wanted to give it a try. But I was afraid.

For some very confusing reason I had it in my mind that if you weren’t good at something, well, it was better not to do it. Weak attempts at new skills could lead to moments of embarrassment, being ill at ease amongst your classmates or even all out humiliation!

To buffer my feelings of inadequacy, I learned early on to announce to everyone that I was just terrible at art, and only produce half-efforts during my bi-weekly hour of state-required “art class” in grammar school. It’s a known fact that if you tell everyone you lack talent, it’s far less shameful to produce sub-par work, and who knows, you may even impress someone with an accidental success (but because it was surely a fluke so no pressure to re-produce the greatness).

When I entered middle school, Art was no longer required, and I came to terms with this lacunae in my life and manifested my artistic side with ballet, music and writing. Life was good.

Then one day, many years later, I realized I was a closet perfectionist (I literally gasped in horror when I saw the forest for the trees) and that I needed to allow myself make lots of mistakes if I wanted to be happy.

So, I openly admitted I wanted to learn to paint.

Enter my blogging friend Maria Rose from Little Things Are Big. An accomplished artist (check out her work), she generously proposed to teach me to paint. The quirky challenge to this is of course that she is in the United States and I am in France! With the help of her husband, Maria Rose is creating a series of virtual painting classes for me.

We talked about it and agreed these virtual lessons need to be shared with everyone! So here you have my first Painting Lesson. It would be great if you want to join in the fun! Do let us know if you’ll be painting with us. I’m really excited about learning to paint – what fun! I promise I’ll be sharing my progress, however unsophisticated, throughout this little artistic journey.


Here’s a cryptic little peak at what I’m working on from this wonderful book from my friend Natlaia. To be clear, this isn’t technically creweling because I’m not using wool thread, but cotton. I couldn’t wait to start a little something from this book, the patterns are so beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, go take a peek at Natalia’s amazing handiwork – she’s so talented!

If you’d like to be added to the W.I.P. List, please leave me a comment on the W.I.P. page – don’t forget, there’s no obligation to participate every single week! Play along when you’re feeling crafty!

30 thoughts on “W.I.P. Wednesday : A Painting Lesson & Some Crewel

  1. Pingback: W.I.P. Wednesday : Pin Cushions, Notebooks & Gifts « Musings From The Fishbowl

  2. I just bought this same book as a new year’s gift to me! Your first project looks as though it is turning out great. And thank you for sharing the lesson with us – now I am off to painting class!

  3. shelly, that creweling (or…not-creweling) is beautiful! and that’s totally awesome that you are learning how to paint. i have never liked drawing/painting and was forced to learn as a photography student in college. i actually did quite well (at true-to-life painting/drawing only), but still didn’t like it. as a photographer, i just wanted everything to look EXACTLY like it actually looked (which i grew out of eventually) and the painstaking efforts it took to acheive this really wore me out. like, it would take me 2/3 of a semester to do one 4×5′ painting. anyway, my point is this: recently i’ve decided to start drawing again, but not in that crazy ocd kind of way, but much more loosely. and that’s what i wanted to do my WIP about yesterday, but felt sick after work and didn’t get around to scanning my doodles. so hooray for learning new things! and don’t worry, i’m sure you will do well. your craftiness level is way too high for it to look too terrible haha…

  4. Your art lessons sound totally cool! I am in!
    I also really dig the crewling – I say it is still crewling you are just being nicer to the many fields of sheep out there.
    Looks great! Can’t wait to see the end result. And CAN NOT wait to see what you paint. Go, go, go!

  5. aw, the video doesn’t work for me, but it sure sounds fun. i have only ever painted in acrylics and dabbled in watercolors, but would love to give oils a try.


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