Skip to main content

My 80 year old Sista-in-law starts painting

By March 6, 2019ART CLASS Stories:

It’s never to late to learn something new.

Case in point:
I am blessed to have recently spent time with Don’s sister, Earlene. We have been to Europe together and she is an intelligent, delightful, hoot. A superb travel companion, always open to a new adventure.

While here in Fairhope, she saw a painting of a tulip and instantly wanted to learn how to paint it. Because I’m an art teacher, I took a picture of the picture and we began that afternoon.

As most of you know I have been an ART teacher for over 45 years now (ouch !!#!*!) so I know how to instruct her to draw then paint. (When you draw on a canvas and then paint, you are using your left brain. When you paint from your imagination, no lines involved, you are using your right brain). Earlene is definitely left-brained… and that is good.

This gorgeous tulip was her very first painting.  I am so proud and she is so hooked.

When Earlene went home (Orlando) she bought paints, canvas boards and found a picture that she wants to paint next.  I suggested using chalk or pencil for the drawing on the canvas board because it’s easily removed with a kneaded eraser. When she asked how to get the picture transferred, that’s another subject all-together. There are several ways but I suggested she draw it herself.

Now we have switched from a painting class to a drawing class.

So, this is how I teach my students to draw:
“No way”                                                              “Yes way”

Draw the picture UPSIDE DOWN and see what happens.

Some of my first time drawing students. They can’t believe they drew this.


Dear Earlene,
The attached are examples I taught in my drawing classes… the very 1st time I met my students.
I would ask them if they could draw this (I showed the drawing upside right) and they ALL said NOOOOOOOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYYYYYYY.
So, I turned it upside down and said  “DRAW.”  Most students were stunned at my request and thought I was kidding.
I wasn’t.
They started to look at the picture. The only hint I gave them was to put the picture in quadrants and pay attention to shapes and angles.
Without even being aware of the shift, they automatically went into their left brains. The room was pin-drop quiet for 20 minutes. When finished they turned their drawing around and were shocked at their own ability.
This concept is not mine. I found the lesson in a right brain/left brain drawing book… over 40 years ago. I taught this art class in several Junior Highs, college, in my home studio, rehabs, and community centers.
It always worked.
So, Sista’, I’m thrilled that you are going to try this. Please send me pictures of your progress.
And, by the way, I’m posting this email on my blog, so if you want to see it (and even more about you & your tulip) you’d better “subscribe”.
Love you,
PS. This RB/LB process is an idea for my next blog. Stay tuned.

Author Tamlin

More posts by Tamlin

Leave a Reply