My brother is the artist in our family, I am the writer. He is guitar, bass, and a host of other instruments he picks up and plays by ear and heart. I am clarinet and reading music and playing with heart and technique. I have done some painting but I generally avoid it because he’s so good at it.
When my friend Donna, who I work with, invited me to Paint Night on January 18th with some of our other coworkers she suggested it could be a bit crazy. I agreed. I grabbed Jody for moral support and we were off to Paint Night. I’m not sure Paint Night qualifies as an art class but it was a lot of fun and took some of the seriousness away from art.
Paint Night is an event style program held across Canada. It’s kind of Bob Ross with appies and drinks. Everyone goes to a pub or bar, paints the same painting (or a facsimile thereof), and has a lot of laughs. Surprisingly, even people who haven’t held a paint brush since they were five come out with some pretty awesome paintings and they all represent the style of the person doing the painting. It was quite remarkable.
I knew the painting we would be doing would be of pink cherry blossoms. Some of you may remember I have some issues with the colour pink so I suspected going in that I would end up rebelling and coming home with a painting that wasn’t pink. Oh yeah, it happened!
I sat next to a guy who had never been there but his wife, on the other side of him, obviously had. He was also the only guy there and it was packed with women.
We started with the sky. That seemed easy enough. I noticed I’m more slap happy when it comes to painting and Jody is very meticulous. I think that represents our personalities pretty accurately. Then we did the mountains and the long path coming down the mountain. Me slapping paint on and Jody carefully making perfect Japanese styled mountains. My painting pretty much doubled in weight by the time I brought it home.
The guy next to me was really funny. We all added the branches and body of the tree next. Mine was slapped on, Jody’s was perfect, and the guy next to me created a tree that looked a lot like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. I love Groot! We had lots of laughs about his Groot tree. By the end, when his was done, it looked Groot imitating Peter Frampton or Robert Plant – lots of pink and white rock n roll hair.
The last thing we added were the pink and white cherry blossoms. I was shocked at how good everyone’s paintings were. I was also amazed at how different they were. People like me, who weren’t too into the details, and people like Jody who worked hard on making theirs what they wanted, not necessarily exactly like the original – it wasn’t that kind of perfectionism, it was more that they had a vision and even if they’d never painted before their vision appeared in their paintings
Some women next to me were painting their landscape purple, they’d obviously been there before. I decided to make my flowers more grey and I love the result! My mom says we should hang my painting right next to an amazing watercolor my brother did a few years ago. I think it would drive him insane next time he visits…. Therefore it’s a good thing!
Why was it crazy?
Painting in public, being a beginner in something my brother excels in – all crazy!
Would I do it again?
Absolutely. I still want to take drawing and other painting classes, and we’re already trying to decide on the next paint night we’re going to – it’s like a party with paint!