3/19/00

An Essay By Ben // 3/19/2000

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

Spring break is over tomorrow, and I didn't do half the things I had hoped to do. Oh well, life never seems to completely run the way we want it to run! I worked a lot, though.

Yesterday, I drove with my sister, Beatrice, to an artist's house for an art class. He lives only about a mile away from us. When we walked into his house, the smell of oil paints and the sight of paintings stacked up against the walls were the most noticeable impressions I had. A white-haired elderly man came out to greet us. The only people in the room were myself, Beatrice, Bea's friend, Mary, and a woman busily painting. He shook our hands and welcomed us with a thick Italian accent. Though his shock of white hair, rough--slightly crazed--face, and accent were a little shocking, he turned out to be a friendly old man.

He simply loves painting--I don't think he even would eat or sleep much unless his wife didn't remind him to. He taught Beatrice and Mary about using water color, and he showed me how to paint with oil paints. He talked a long time about using the empty white space of the canvas, and about what makes a painting a painting. Though this was interesting--I felt like a was listening to Picasso or van Gogh--I was happy when I finally had the chance to begin oil painting.

I had only used oil paints once before, so I really had no idea how to begin. But, he guided me along, showing me how to make a rough sketch of a vase of flowers using charcoal, then how to apply and blend the paint. I really enjoy painting with oil paints! It's so fun to create rich colors on the canvas and paint yellow flowers. Besides, you feel like a great painter--it feels like Picasso is still alive and painting right next to you!

Keep on enjoying apricot and breath some more of your creativity into it!

Ben Kniaz

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