At my 4th Wednesday Art class I did not have much help from the Wendy- in fact I think she disapproved of my copying the Velasquez Rockeby Venus though she said nothing. I was faithful to the original as much as possible. I did not deviate in any way. The colours were the same, the composition an exact copy. I could do this. I could copy well. It felt good. I had no standards. I was learning about Oil paint and turps and just gliding the paint around in sensuous abandon and having fun. I felt so proud of myself after I had finished it!
If I remember my next attempt was a still life of a copper jug and some fruit. Wendy made me set it up in her studio and I copied that. I did not like it as much. It was stiff and I couldn't get the copper right. When she showed me how easy it was I was amazed that I could paint something realistic. I enjoyed it better after that. The oranges were easy. I got a feeling of depth into them without difficulty. I am quite good at this, I thought- painting is easy and fun. I added to my repertoire of colours, using ochre and burnt sienna. Exciting using new colours for the first time.
Then Wendy told the class she was leaving to go and live in Swellendam. I was devastated. I did not know if I could go on. She was so nurturing and kind and gentle and non-threatening. She made me feel like I really had talent and I could do anything if I wanted. I believed her. I knew I would miss her terribly. She said she had found us another teacher who lived just up the road. We were to start with her in 2 weeks.