Monday, September 14, 2009

A Day with Joi!

Joi Electa is a well known, talented artist who lives in God's country...the North Shore of Lake Superior. Each year I go to the Gunflint with friends and this year I stopped in Beaver Bay to spend the day with Joi, learning to oil paint. We met for breakfast and talked mostly about our common interests of nature. The wolf family she has been watching and where we may go to paint. We decided on the Beaver River. We walked down to the mouth and then continued up the river. Climbing almost dry falls and just following and enjoying the river. I had to force myself to turn back or I would have continued to follow the river all day. It was just one beautiful discovery after another and I can't resist seeing what is just around the corner. In Joi I found a sister spirit in this adventure. We had a great hike and talked a lot about what it looks like with all the spring melt crashing down the bed. But we had a mission and that was to oil paint. We headed back to where we left our supplies and settled in to paint. Joi has been painting since she was 6. It shows! She explained the basics and touched on the complexities of oil painting. I guess I never really thought of all that goes into painting. My misconception being that I thought you either had the talent or not. There's so many things involved that it really is a learning process...technique, lighting, mixing of colors, depth, balance, layering, brushes, the list goes on. I attempted to paint part of the Beaver River under the bridge. My "real" life is busy and stressful and I'm always looking for peace. While painting you need to put everything else aside and just concentrate on what's before you. I came away from the day thinking I could do this but I just need to learn more and keep painting. Joi was a great teacher...very patient! The day ended too soon and I had to be back on my way north. I had a small painting next to me and the smell of fresh paint lingered in my truck for was a good smell as it brought back the peacful day spent with Joi.

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