Tonawanda News

June 9, 2013

HAYNES: Revealing hidden artistic side

By Danielle Haynes
The Tonawanda News

— I often joke about how I was an art history major in college because while I love art, I just can’t create it myself. 

I took a drawing class at Michael’s craft store for a few weeks while I was in elementary school, and of course, I took the requisite art classes in school. Other than a few photography classes in high school, I was never very good at it, and never had much of a passion for creating things of beauty with my own hands.

The way I see it, I contribute to the artistic world by writing about it, as some of you may have noticed with my many features articles on exhibits at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Project 308 Gallery, Carnegie Art Center and Partners in Art Gallery. 

When covering different topics — not even just the artistic ones — I’m often encouraged by my interview subjects to take this class, join that organization, visit a restaurant. I wish there were more hours in the day so I could partake in all the activities going on throughout our area, but it’s just not feasible.

I tried to politely shrug off one such suggestion by watercolor artists Jody Zeihm and Beverly DiPalma when I interviewed them recently about their Painting Uncorked class for the story you see accompanying this column.

Unable to organize having a photographer at their first watercolor class May 17, I consented to take the photos myself, and thus take the class.

I admit I was skeptical, not only because I’m a poor artist, but I just couldn’t imagine two women being able to teach a bunch of newbies to successfully tackle such a skill.

A few glasses of wine and a couple self-deprecating remarks to my neighbor at the class later, and I had to finally admit, maybe there really is something of an artist in me afterall. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s no way I could have created that painting of a wine glass and bottle without the rough outline already drawn on my paper and step-by-step instructions and guidance from a experienced artists. But seeing that completed painting done purely by my own hand was a moment of pride I never thought I’d see.

Each of the dozen or so women taking the class with me, I’m sure, had that moment as well. 

I don’t think I’ve finally found my calling as an artist — just as I didn’t find my calling as a remote-control airplane operator more than a year ago when I took that class — but I do think I’ve found a nice hobby to return to occasionally. 

I think it’s also made me realize that I should never say “never” when it comes to things of this sort, as cliche as that may seem. 

Just because I’ve never been much of an artist, doesn’t mean I’ll never be one, or that I won’t at least have fun trying. 

Contact Sunday Lifestyle editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116 or follow her on Twitter @DanielleHaynes1.