As finals week and provincial exam week ends, I spent most of my provincial exam week break painting. In the past three weeks, I have met with my mentor three times. It definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been four weeks since in-depth started, yet I’ve already managed to finish a painting! This puts me ahead of my planned schedule. However, my mentor, Grace, suggested I paint something small and simple for my first painting to learn and understand how to use paint and applying the basic techniques.

For my first painting, Grace suggested that instead of focusing on creating this beautiful masterpiece of a painting, I should first focus on getting used to using paint. This included mixing different shades of colors and applying different techniques like using a skinny brush to paint in long strokes or using a fat brush to make short but wide strokes. For this painting, I experimented with color, especially different shades of orange and yellow. A decision I made was to not paint the background a solid color, but to rather splash it with many shades. I feel that this made the paining more visually interesting to look at as a whole.

One worry that I have is that I won’t be able to finish all my paintings before in-depth night. Since my first painting was more or less a trial, I chose to paint on a small square canvas. As I continue into my in-depth project, I hope to start painting on larger canvases. However, I hope to be able to become more efficient in mixing colors and blending paint to be able to complete paintings faster.

This year, a main focus for our in-depth studies is mentorship. As I am doing an extension of my grade nine in-depth with the same mentor, we did not start off as strangers. However, our relationship had always been slightly formal. This year, I hope to develop a further bond with my mentor and learn more about her.

My mentor moved from China to Canada and grew up living in a family full of artists. Grace’s parents were also artists and her dad even worked in an art school in China. She went to university to gain a degree in arts before moving to Canada. When she moved to Canada and had children, she decided to start her own art classes right from her home. Grace has expressed starting off her teaching career to be very difficult. Especially in the first few weeks when she was only teaching a few students, Grace has said that word of mouth is how her classes started to pick up. So far, Grace has continuously taught me to be patient. Especially since last year I sketched, this year, I have to actually wait for the paint to dry before I can keep on painting on top of a layer. She also extends the importance of patience into the painting process as a whole. In terms of my own development as a mentor, Grace has taught me to be more confident in my own choices. Often, when I add a splash of color in a painting or add extra detail in an area, I ask for lots of other people’s opinions and often look for acceptance. Grace has been slowly teaching me to accept the way my painting looks as long as I like it. I think I could use this information in my development as a mentor as I could show other’s to be more confident in their choices.

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading! Here is a look at my first completed painting!

Painting #1
Painting #1