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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Drucker

Painting, in oil.

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

When I was an undergraduate in college, I majored in photography rather than painting, following the old adage, 'you can't make a living as a painter'. A decade later when I went back to school for my MFA, I took my first pain

Portrait of David McCurdy on the artist easel he made for me
Portrait of David McCurdy on the easel he handmade for me

ting class with Carol Kingston. It lit a spark that took me another 15 years to ignite.

For Christmas last year, my partner gave me the most beautiful gift. He handmade for me, a large, wood artist easel. What precipitated this gift was a portrait I painted for him a year earlier; on canvas, in oil. It was a herculean effort on my part. It took me over a month. The early stages of the painting were so awful, I didn't think I would ever walk away with something I was proud of. After building and re-building the canvas, I was completely shocked at the result. It was good, really good. All of my photography training gave me a critical eye for color, line, and form and I understood how important shadow detail is through hours in a darkroom dodging and burning.

There is no going back now. Malcolm Gladwell explained that it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials. My journey as an artist continues, regardless of the medium.


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