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March 30 2016


Creativity Through Home Art and Camaraderie

Paint and sip
With regards to a year ago three friends and i also attended a Paint and Sip session. When you visit such an affair you make payment for a small fee then receive a blank canvas, a tray of paints, a glass of wine (or two) or other beverage of your choice, and the opportunity to participate in 2-3 hours of "copy art". In copy art, the instructor tells you what to do, then s/he demonstrates so you copy. It is interesting and fun, especially for a novice painter like myself, but it could become tedious if the instructor works with the pace of the slowest painter (not I!) and everyone waits and waits until each attendee is a the same point prior to lesson continues. For the speed demon including myself, this sluggish pace didn't lead to creativity but rather the fatigue of non-participation well, i simply abandoned my leader and moved along at my own pace. Which has a finished product to replicate and occasion listening, I finished up with a fairly decent wine representation with added touches, dashes, and flourishes of my own.

Art studio
The instructor, unfortunately, was not a teacher. She knew some techniques and he or she had obviously led this lesson repeatedly in the past, but she has not been attuned to her students. We plodded, she yapped; we waited and she yapped some more. It was clear that this slowest painter was never planning to finish but we patiently killed time exactly the same. During this "free" time the trainer filled any empty spots of air with criticism to her fledgling artists: "Too much color", "Stop looking to fix that mess", and "Please quit" were a few of her remarks. Really allows you to want to paint, right?

But the class was still fun because I was with friends and dibbling around with colors is entertaining and critiquing non-teacher types is much more so. As a result I decided to host my own paint and sip without pressure applied. Ten friends gathered inside my home one evening excited to test this activity. Each easel was full of a clean canvas, water and brushes were at the ready, and an array of paint drops filled each pallet. I had a finished example to share so that I could explain some tips i had done, when and how, as well as clarified some important steps like having a damp canvas, how to cover errors with white, tools readily available for special touches, etc. For those who were too nervous to self-launch, I led them step-by-step with the process. For those who i would like to plunge, I let them go with maximum freedom.

As my friends painted, I wandered, offered advice, looked up other bottle shapes and backdrops online, and commended their efforts. Even though some replications were somewhat on the mysterious side, like the command "draw a bottleneck approximately 1-inch wide" produced tiny traces and thin lines instead, though the idea was creativity knowning that was just how some translated my work to their canvas. Others, with amazing vision, added dogwood blossoms, fancy wine bottle labels, and intricate designs with delicate shades. The interior personality was exposed along with imagination and magical conceptualizations in each painting. The finished products were fantastic.

Don't be the product, buy the product!