Can this old dog learn a new trick?

As much as I’ve enjoyed spending every weekend working in my yard this spring, getting my garden ready, planting seeds, seedlings and anything that didn’t move fast enough to get out of my reach, I think I’m ready to reclaim my life.

I mean seriously, if the only hobby I’m going to pursue in my spare time is gardening, I should just pack it up and move to Iowa. I’d grow much better tomatoes and wouldn’t have to plan my life around my irrigation schedule.

But since my husband and I live in Western Colorado because we love Western Colorado, it seems only logical that I ought to get out there and do something Western Colorado-ish, like hiking in the desert, golfing in the shadow of the Colorado National Monument or attending one of the many outdoor festivals that celebrate something somewhere almost every week.

I’m planning on attending the Art and Jazz Festival this weekend where I hope to stretch my artistic and musical boundaries. When it comes to music and art, I’m about as talented as the silt I dug out of my irrigation ditch. That’s not to say I don’t like music and art, I just have a limited vocal range and I never graduated beyond paint by numbers.

However, if you haven’t made it to the Art & Jazz Festival yet and are now scared to go because I mentioned stretching my musical boundaries, you needn’t fear I’ll be standing on a street corner warbling away and trying to scat like Ella Fitzgerald. I know my limitations. I’ll simply go and appreciate the performers who are there. I am, however, going to attempt to be an artist.

In spite of my inability to paint without the lines, I signed up for one of the classes offered at the Main Street Art School during the jazz festival. Due to the constraints of deadlines, while I write this I have yet to take the class, but if you’re reading this in Sunday’s paper, it’s already a done deal. So now, I either have a beautiful watercolor landscape that I’m tickled pink to hang in my home or I am living proof that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I’m a little intimidated about trying to paint a picture. I consider myself a fairly creative person when it comes to words, but not so much when it comes down to making my hands produce what my mind can visualize. My hand-eye coordination is non-existent, although with the right garden shovel, I can dig a pretty mean hole.

When I interviewed Sara Alyn Oakley for the story I wrote in the Art and Jazz pullout, she assured me that she had never had a student who couldn’t paint. Talk about pressure. I may be the first person in the history of the world who can’t paint a recognizable image!

My husband doesn’t even trust me to paint walls in our house. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Even if I do manage to paint a credible picture during my lesson, I won’t tell him that I know the correct way to hold a paintbrush.

Although I’m sure I will spend most of my spare time this summer playing in one of my gardens, it’s always nice to get out and try something new. Since I conquered painting this weekend, maybe I’ll try sculpting next weekend. I’m sure it only took Rodin a week or two to complete The Thinker.

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