This weekend I am heading to Cortland, NY, for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop. I have been attending this event for three years, and enjoy the chance to learn new things. This workshop gives programs designed to teach women outdoor skills such as fishing, shooting, archery, hunting, trapping, outdoor photography, map and compass, survival, camping, canoeing and outdoor cooking.
This year, I am taking a Taxidermy class, and it was suggested that we bring in “props” for our small specimen (possibly a rat, chipmunk, or squirrel), if we wanted. Last year, the women had some creative examples of critters, so I thought long and hard about what to use.
Since I am a writer and illustrator, I considered making a tiny typewriter out of clay, and posing my subject on a chair, diligently typing out some best-selling novel. Then I considered the idea of creating a small animal artist. The thought of a miniature canvas and furry painter won me over.
I create most of my illustrations digitally these days, so some of my painting supplies were old and worn. I figured I would get some new ones, so I headed off to Hobby Lobby and picked up my supplies. I was able to find a tiny canvas, tiny easel, paints, a few new fine-tipped brushes, and some matte medium. There was even a sale on art supplies that day, Huzzah!
It felt great to work with the real media again. Mixing the paints, and working the colors onto the canvas filled a void I didn’t realize I had. I finished my miniature masterpiece and got to work on a brush and pallet—they don’t sell pint-sized painting tools.
With a little card stock and some creative toothpick modification, I was able to finish the tools of my future furry artist.
I even took a little extra time to sew a beret for my critter, but I will wait to display that when I finish with the class.
It was such a joy to use real media again. Even though I mostly work on my computer with my pen tablet, I promised myself that I would always make some time to create with my hands. Who knows, maybe next time I will sculpt a wee little writer after all.