I keep forgetting that, when the community class schedule lists a class as being 4 hours long, it's really only going to last 3 - 3 1/2 hours. Unlike classes at other (more expensive) places, the tutor looks ready to pack up about three quarters of the way in. Even the students - the grownups who've voluntarily paid to come and learn - seem itching to get away early.
The people in my painting class ranged from absolute beginners to people who sounded like they knew what they were doing. The latter had an impressive array of obviously well-used tools and even started painting on their canvasses before the tutor had started tutoring. The former left after the first ten minutes, presumably because she felt a little intimidated by the latter.
And where did I fit in?
I was the one who came in lugging my gear in one of those large, pink plastic bags you find in your letterbox, which you're supposed to fill with unwanted used goods so that the collector can sell them for charity.
I was the one who knew what Expressionism was, but didn't have any paper to write on (because I'd absentmindedly left the sketchbook at home).
I was the one who had to bite my tongue when the tutor pronounced Joan Miro's name as "Jean My-ro" (it's Spanish, and should sound more like Juan Mee-roh", but forgot to bring a palate board and had to do all my colour-mixing on the lid of the 6"x4" crayon box.
Still, after the initial feelings of uncertainty and rustiness, I was able to cover my canvas with a few coats of colour and produce a thumbnail of what the finished product might be.
I didn't feel right at home, but perhaps it's just going to take time.