One of my very dear childhood friends, Baby, came to visit us with her family this past holiday season. Once they were done traipsing around the country, they managed to give us a few days of “not doing much,” before they headed off home to Manila.
On one evening when our spouses were at a Warriors game in Oakland, I arranged for us to attend a painting class close to our home. I figured, it would be a great evening for some wine and artistic expression. It was to be my gift to her for her upcoming birthday in this month.
After we were provided our stark white canvases, brushes, and paints, we proceeded to look at what we might like to paint. I picked a cityscape from their online file. My friend chose a grove of trees. They poured some sparkling wine and gave us tall glasses to “help us loosen up,” they said.
We were given general instructions on how to create our “masterpieces.” We got tips on how to use different brushes and knives, some techniques such as dripping, smearing, layering, scratching (yes, with your fingernails!), scoring with various tools, etching, and a whole slew of really fancy stuff! We were also cautioned not to over think things and to not be afraid to experiment.
I was first introduced to this by my brother and his wife. They gave me a gift certificate for my birthday. I had postponed using it for the longest time. I now know what great evenings they were having at this place.
Would I go back? Hell, yeah!
P.S. I hope you have a place near where you live to do this. Yes, you do have to convince yourself that there is an inner artist in you that badly wants to get out. Then when you stand in front of the canvas, you should not listen to the overly critical voices in your head telling you it’s not good work. And if you get it wrong the first time, let the paint dry, then paint over it with a fresh idea.