Monday, April 29, 2013

Painting Party

I am a member of the local alumnae chapter of my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. The group strives to connect members socially, raise money for our philanthropies and keep a strong post-college connection to the group that had such an important part of our college years.

Every once in a while, the group's schedule of fun, member-connecting activities coincide with a quiet night on my calender and I am able to attend.  I was so happy to see that one of our members (a trained art teacher) was donating her time to host an acrylics painting class last Friday night.

I had forgotten how relaxing it is to paint.  I really felt my blood pressure wind down as we layered color upon color to create a realistic country field.  

Although I must admit, I did feel a big grip of fear/hesitation when she told us to load our brush with paint and create the sky - right across the clean, empty canvas.  I felt it again when we launched into building the field with purple paint.  And again when we started to build the trunk of the tree. My instinct was that it wouldn't be right somehow - too big, too bulky, too off center.  Our patient teacher assured us that it was normal to feel hesitant, but to push on and give it a whirl.  It was art, after all and in art, it is hard to do something "wrong."  She was right, of course, and we all managed to make a tree that looked like a tree.

We brushed on clouds, dabbed on flowers, worked in grasses and "found the light" shining on the leaves.  It was really fun.  My mind let go of the lists and commitments that keep me running at a clip and I sat at the table with friends new and old and we all "lived in the moment" for a while.  We were creating something some scratch and it felt great.

We learned about color being lighter in the distance.  That by having a variety of colors among the branches of the tree it created depth, as if the wind was tussling the leaves.  We implied blue bonnets blooming naturally in the field by making small dry brush dashes with a lovely dusty blue shade of paint that we had mixed up ourselves.  

The whole evening was good for our brains and our hearts.  What could be better than that?  Thank you, Melissa, for a lovely and informative evening.

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