The apartment complex I live in hosted a "Paint & Sip" night. If you're not familiar with the "Paint & Sip" concept, it's pretty basic: an instructor helps everyone paint a standard image in about two-and-a-half hours and you drink alcohol along the way. To be perfectly frank, I was a little wary of going because I thought the painting was pretty darn ugly. But, I like people. And I adore people who paint. So, I figured I'd sign-up and get to meet some of the people who live in my apartment complex who like making art.
The common room was all set up for painting with tabletop easels, blank canvases, and paper plates full of paint. We were also provided with aprons and brushes.
These are a few of the paintings that this particular organization teaches:
The woman who organized our session, picked a palm tree/sunset painting.
You can see that each person's painting is slightly different:
Some observations from this experience:
- I was not thrilled about the painting we were making going into the event, but I had a great deal of fun making it. It's a good reminder to me to focus on the process and not get caught up in the final result.
- Throughout class students were really upset when their paintings didn't look "right" at each and every step. When I teach, I spend at least 30% of the time trying to emphasize the importance of embracing what you're creating rather than judging and hating it. This was a tough class for the teacher to do that in because the whole point is making a painting that looks like hers.
- I was reminded of how intimidating art can be. There was a woman who kept saying that she wanted to do a bright blue sky instead of a dusky one. When the teacher came by she commented, "Oh, you didn't change the color of the sky." And the woman responded, "I didn't know how." I was reminded that while it may seem obvious to me how to make the sky bright blue, it isn't obvious to everyone.
- Most of the people in the room introduced themselves by announcing that they weren't creative and had no idea how to paint. I disagree. Of course you're creative! And of course you can paint. Perhaps you can't paint realistically, but you can paint! Anyone who signs up for a paint party at least has a desire to be creative, right?
- I was reminded that making art together is an easy way to turn to strangers into chatty cohorts. There was lots of conversation everywhere around me and I enjoyed meeting a bunch of new people. It made me nostalgic for the old days of scrapbook crops -- super fun!
- I think I'm a better teacher because I'm also a frequent student. This class made me think a lot about how I teach and how I explain things. For example, there were only four brushes, but many of the students were confused by when to use which brush and even how to hold it. I think teaching is about empowering your students. I like to err on the side of over-explaining rather than under-explaining.
Overall, I had a great time!
Have you been to a "Paint & Sip" night? What was your experience like?
Thanks for stopping by!