Pride goeth before a fall

Early Spring on Beech Hill, oil on canvasboard, Carol L. Douglas, 12X16, $1449 framed includes shipping in continental US.

On our way to Erickson Fields, my husband exclaimed, “We forgot our cleats! Should I go back?” I’d walked our usual 4.5-mile hill trek on Sunday and it wasn’t terrible. Besides, I was in a hurry.

The trails that converge on the top of Beech Hill are very popular. In the summer, that means you go as early as possible. In winter, foot traffic polishes the trails to a glossy finish. It was especially bad Monday morning; I’d made the wrong choice.

Athabasca Glacier, 14X18, oil on linen, $1275 includes shipping and handling in the continental US.

“It’s like walking on the Columbia Icefield, but worse,” I grumbled. But I’m an experienced old bird, and I carefully picked my way to the top.

“I managed to not fall,” I said gleefully as we crossed back into Erickson Fields. “In fact, I haven’t fallen one time this whole year.” Which was stupid, since it’s always the downhill slope that gets you. Sure enough, a second later I was flat on my back on the ice. To add insult to injury, I did it a second time. That kind of pain takes a day to kick in but 48 hours later, everything hurts, including my fingernails.

I had a very tight schedule. I would work with Laura (my IT and PR person) until 2, take a break to paint woodwork until 4, and then set up a demo for my Zoom class on color bridges. We have new furniture coming for our guest room, and this house has never had the upstairs floors properly painted in its 125 years of existence. Thrifty New Englanders, they left the parts covered by area rugs as raw wood, with painted borders like monks’ tonsures.  I reckoned that if I did the woodwork on Monday, above the chair rail Tuesday night, below on Wednesday, and the floor on Thursday, I’d finish it just under my self-imposed deadline.

Mountain Path, oil on archival canvasboard, 11X14, $1087.00 framed includes shipping and handling in continental US.

“I can’t handle this pace,” I told myself, and then stopped and berated myself for being so negative. “Of course I can. I’m not tired and everything’s ticking along like clockwork.”

That’s when I got a message from a student in my new drawing class, which meets Mondays, 1-4. “I’ll be ready as soon as I get this cat off my lap,” she wrote.

“What?” I spluttered. “We don’t start until next week-do we?”

Turns out that the class, for which I’d done no marketing and no prep, did indeed start on Monday. Pride goeth before a fall, indeed.

Drawing is the bedrock on which painting rests, and if you can’t draw, you’ll have a hard time painting. I’m teaching this class because I need my painting students to be good draftsmen. I’ve got the four students I’d earmarked as needing it, but there’s still a lot of open space. If you think you’d benefit, I’m prorating the fee and making the video from Week 1 available, so you won’t miss anything. Our subjects are:

  • Basic measurement
  • Perspective
  • Volume and form
  • Drapery and clothing
  • Drawing the human face
  • Trees and rocks

You can register here.

Winter lambing, oil on linen, 30X40, $5072 framed, includes shipping and handling in continental US.


Before I forget, I’m also offering a four-week critique class starting on February 19. Your job is to paint during the week, and our mutual job is to analyzing our work based on the standard canon of design elements. This is not a touchy-feely class in any way; it’s meant to give you the tools to analyze your own paintings without falling victim to your emotions. I’ve taught this many times and my students have always been polite, enthusiastic and supportive, so there’s no reason to be nervous.

You can register here.

My 2024 workshops:

One Reply to “Pride goeth before a fall”

  1. Good evening Carol,
    Timing for me and drawing class has been interrupted by family visiting and not enough time for me to devote to drawing- I started out well I thought and then fizzled with all the activity around me-
    No excuse but that’s where I am- Saturday AM perhaps not the best for consecutive classes- I have watched videos but not drawn- only doodled with small flowers- I will set aside time to catch up this coming week and hope to send work.
    Would like to continue – let’s chat by phone please when we can arrange a time – daughter returns to NYC late Sunday. Will miss Saturday due to required attendance of a tennis match at 9:00am.
    Love the ferns, woods, mountains and glaciers- hope you are feeling better.

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