Novelty & Writing Well

I know a couple who ditch New Year’s Eve resolutions and instead choose to do one new thing each year. This year she chose to learn fencing. She’s never done it and doesn’t know the least thing about it.

When I asked her about it, she said, “I just wanted to.” And so she signed up for a class and is loving it. Her husband hasn’t decided yet. He’s got the year ahead of him to choose. And do.

Novelty is good for the brain. According to Lifehacker, completely new things cause strong activity in the mid-brain area. Well, I’m all for that!

Paint Loose, Robert Joyner, Jill Kandel, So Many Africas, In-Between Culutres

I’ve thought about my friends for two months. And noodled around with various ideas. In the end, I decided to take a mixed media painting class. Online.

I want to introduce you to my teacher, Robert Joyner. He’s an artist I admire greatly. Robert is a self-taught artist (love) , was the official Kentucky Derby Artist 2012 (love, love) and does semi-abstract art using combinations of acrylic, charcoal, ink, and crayon (love, love, love). Did I mention that I LOVE his work?

You can look at Robert Joyner’s Portfolio or check out his classes at Paint Loose. 

I am currently taking Essential Skills: an online course teaching the basics of using mixed media. The lessons cover how to combine acrylics, inks, charcoal and crayon on paper and canvas.

We started with Charcoal. And I’m practicing on a good old spiral bound regular paper notebook. It works. Not fancy. But you know. Inexpensive. And I’m learning!

Joyner Charcoal, Jill Kandel, So Many Africas, In-Between Cultures

And moved on to mixing inks, acrylics, and charcoal.

Paint Loose crayon, Robert Joyner, Jill Kandel, So Many Africas, In-Between Culture

The class has been fun and educational and Robert’s a great teacher.

When my writing day is long and I’m tired as toast, I go watch a video and splash some ink and acrylic around. It’s refreshing and invigorating and joyful.

Thank you to Robert Joyner whose art and classes nurture my courage.

And isn’t it funny, that an art class is helping me to write stronger and deeper. Watch out world. You might never see my art, but my fingers are covered in charcoal and my next book is well on its way. Now I just have to find a way to clean up my keyboard. Poor thing. 

Jill Kandel
  • Diane McElwain
    Posted at 12:48h, 17 March Reply

    It’s good for artist’s to dabble in other things. Expands the mind!

  • mary casey
    Posted at 20:53h, 17 March Reply

    Love it too! Especially love the added vibrant colors in picture #2 on the right!

  • Jan VanKooten
    Posted at 22:32h, 18 March Reply

    Just sitting here smiling at your bravery and delight in a new venture — you go, Girl!

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