One of the perks of getting older is having the time and the willingness to explore new things. This past week I decided to sign up for one of those silly Paint & Sip parties. You know the ones, you get to drink wine and try to paint something with the help of an artist. Mostly it is just a fun excuse to get out of the house with your friends.
I saw an event posted on Facebook for a local bar near me, so I asked a friend if she wanted to go.
Showing up I will admit I was intimidated by that big blank canvass at my spot. The usual fears, what If I’m not any good, what if my picture looks terrible and I look silly in front of these other women. That’s when I realized that everyone had that fear, and the worst possible thing that could happen was that my picture would be awful and I would be out the $30 fee for the night. That’s not too awful, so I began to relax and have fun.
Our artist was fantastic – she had obviously done this many times before and she knew we would all be nervous and overly critical of our own work.
Now came the harder parts, first she demonstrated tilting the canvass and making our big U shape for the bowl of the glass. Somehow I tilted my canvass and still managed a glass that was straight upright in the center of the painting. I wasn’t sure how I managed that feat, but my glass looked fine so I kept it as it was.
As we took a short break to let our paint dry, we got the chance to wander around and look at each other’s paintings. It was actually comical how different everyone’s paintings were. It was at that moment that I began to fully relax and enjoy the process. Sure I wasn’t the best painter, but having fun was really all that mattered. We mixed our colors, added some wine into the glass, and then finished by outlining the glass shape in white and adding details.
I stared at my finished work, and decided that in honor of my wonderful book club, which ALWAYS includes copious amounts of wine, I wanted to add a book to my painting too, and the lovely instructor indulged me by helping to draw a book on a napkin and giving me a head start.
Reflecting on the whole experience, it was so easy to dismiss my talent and creativity, trying to compare my work to others. When I let go of that expectation, my whole evening changed and I was able to relax and make a pretty fun painting. Sure it probably won’t hang in the Louve, but its mine and I had fun making it – and that’s what really matters after all.