Day 27 of the Days Of New experiment brought with it the opportunity to do something creative and expressive. Mainly, going to a guided painting class. This is perfect for somebody like me who wants to feel artistic and creative even if they have no real skill! This art studio was close by, and it sounded like a fun and different experience. On the website they had a calendar with different paintings on different days. The number of “Full” classes indicated to me that this was probably a pretty good class. However I was a bit skeptical. Some of the paintings looked pretty complicated, and I was doubtful that they could walk somebody like me through the process. It seemed highly likely that I would just end up with a great brown blob on a canvas and an art teacher standing next to me shaking her head in disappointment and disapproval.
I did not care however. My art didn’t have to be great, or even good. The opportunity to go somewhere new, try something different, and simply play with paint was enough for me, and so this even had become something I was looking forward to. It didn’t have it’s own building. Rather, it was one of a few businesses that were tucked away and hidden inside a rather plain looking building. I felt the usual sense of anticipation and nervousness as I headed towards my class, but I carried on. “It’s good to do new things,” I reminded myself.
I was excited as soon as I saw the Pinot’s Palette room. There were glass windows next to the door, and they had been decorated with fun and colorful designs in paint. The walls were lined with bright and colorful paintings from previous classes. As I stepped in, the assistant found me on the sign in sheet, pointed me to a coat hanger with aprons, showed me the bar (yes you can drink and paint), and then directed me towards my seat in the middle of an aisle of easels. I got there and was the middle easel in a rowa of five. There were paper plates with blobs of different colored paint, there was a cup of water and three paint brushes of differing sizes. To my right were a mother and daughter pair, and to my left were a slightly older mother and daughter. The mother to my left was actually an artist and painter, and so this was all familiar territory to her. And her daughter had been in the class several times. The pair to my right, like me, had never taken this class. We joked about how the artist to my left was going to completely show me up. I was ok with that though.
The teacher began to teach the class. She was enthusiastic and high energy, with just a slight sarcastic edge which made the class that much more enjoyable for me. She began to explain, step by step, how to start painting this. Even the simple steps, drawing two squares for windows, seemed intimidating to me. But her advice was perfect and I found it to be fairly straight forward. She would explain directions, and then turn on music and let us just work on that step for a while before moving on to the next step. I found the pairs to either side of me seemed to be stressing over their imperfections much more than me. I just went with it. My goal was not to have a perfect painting, but just to have a good time relaxing with people and covering a white blank canvas with colorful acrylic paint.
I lost sense of time immediately as we dove into a world of blues and yellows, slowly, methodically creating the image of a woman stepping out in to a rainy street. My ego got an huge boost when the artist next to me asked me to paint her woman for her after seeing mine. I did not do it though, I was too scared of making some horrible mistake and ruining the painting she had spent all that time on. Two hours passed by in two minutes, and I was stunned how quickly the time seemed to fly by. I was also stunned at the painting in front of me that I had just produced. A woman with an umbrella stepping out of a building and into the rainy reflective night street.