Terrified Beginner no longer! by Liz Saunders

I can no longer be considered a terrified beginner, a beginner, definitely, but not so terrified.

However, I think every class is going to have its own challenges and therefore terrors.  This week we finished, or mostly finished, our “ribbons” of the week before.  This was an exercise in shading and shadows.


Then it was time to move on to using conté on construction paper.  The idea was to use black conté for the shadows, white conté for the highlights and the colour of the construction paper for the medium tones.  I was going to do the still life, but Kathy seemed so disappointed that we were both going to do the still life, I thought, what the hell, you’re terrified of trying the other option – GO FOR IT!

But can you tell what it is?

first conte

As we were wrapping up the class, a young woman walked in who is a potential new “terrified beginner” and we chatted.   I think her name is Reesa and I really hope she joins us next week – she won’t be terrified for long.   There’s no doubt in my mind that our wonderful teacher, Kathy will put her at ease as quickly as she did me.

But I digress.

Now, I’m determined.  On the way home I stopped at the dollar store and picked up not only construction paper, but also some newsprint.  Daughter Olivia lent me some coloured conté and chalk and I just hope I can find some black and white in there to give a still life, of my own creation, a try.  If not, I’ll improvise.

And speaking of creating my own still life, Kathy even taught us how to go about doing that!  One of the neatest things she said was “have you ever looked at a piece of art and felt that to see it properly you had to tilt your head?  It’s because it’s not balanced”.  So not only am I going to try again with the conté, I’m going to try the creation process from nothing to finished.

Wish me luck!



Published by J. Liz Saunders

With over 30 years of experience, J. Liz Saunders delivers exceptional office and sales support to a wide range of businesses. More importantly, she does so with creativity. Her ‘can do’, ‘can solve’, ‘can source’ attitude results in the most efficient and effective completion of her clients’ requirements every time. Upon first meeting, Liz’ her most notable quality is her energy. When preparing for and running the Toronto marathon in 2004, Liz channelled this energy with discipline and determination. She uses those same qualities when organizing her many clients and delivering high quality support services in a timely manner. As a virtual assistant, Liz cold calls and generates leads for sales people; researches sites for meetings; schedules appointments and provides client support; offers transcription services, manages broadcast emails, arranges printing, handles basic bookkeeping; writes correspondence, proposals, quotes and invoices for clients; and acts as a call centre taking registrations for seminars. Liz is a certified Virtual Assistant with extensive experience in Microsoft Office. She has a BA from the University of Toronto and studied Fundraising Management at Ryerson University. She has experience in legal services, construction, insurance, real estate and facilities management. Liz builds her business based on trust, quality and a commitment to exceptional results.

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