Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Painting with a Twist

Last week, I unleashed my inner Van Gogh.


It was for a birthday party. Instead of seeing a movie, or going out to dinner, we all met up at this place I'd never heard of—Painting with a Twist.
Painting! With a twist!
It was actually a really cool little place! It was already set up for us when we got there, and we each had our own easel. It was BYOB. I stuck with a bottle of water, but someone brought some wine, and there were a couple of beers cooling in a bucket of ice. There was an artist there to walk us through our painting. We recreated Starry Night. Which just happens to be my favorite painting. So I was pretty thrilled about it.
My work space. Appropriately labeled.
We started off by painting those trademark swirls in the sky. I think I got mine a little too big. But...creative license, and all that, right? Anyhow, it was time consuming (especially for a perfectionist like me!) to get the sky where I was happy with it. But it was worth it.
My sky. Minus moon and stars.
I was mostly happy with it at this point.
After that, we worked on some of the hills and ground stuff. We didn't get as complicated as Van Gogh did—we only had a few hours to do this. But we included something our artist called the wheat field. I think. And some rolling hills. That part wasn't so bad. That is to say, it's hard to be picky when you're just painting hillsides.

We'd break periodically and take our canvases to a table in the back where, two at a time, we hit 'em with some hot air via a couple of hair dryers. Then we went back to painting, without the fear of smearing what we'd already painted.

After the wheat and the hills, we moved on to that the foreground. I think it's a tree. I've always thought that, but our artist talked about it like it was up for debate. So maybe it is. Either way, I think mine turned out pretty darn good.

Pretty much the last thing we did was add the buildings. I didn't go too crazy with them. I was afraid I'd spoil the painting. The smaller details were already giving me trouble. So I stuck with painting a church. And two little buildings. I probably could have added more without it looking bad, but I decided not to risk it.
My finished product!
All in all, I was really proud of what I turned out! I hadn't painted in quite some time, and honestly I hadn't expected to walk away with anything I'd ever consider hanging. But you know what? I think I'm going to hang this piece. Somewhere. Surely there's room on at least one of my apartment walls. I even went as far as to paint the sides of the canvas, so I don't need to frame it. And I didn't just paint it a solid color—no. I had detail. I continued the painting around to the sides and top. Not as much on the bottom, but really, who's going to see that?

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to tap into some creativity I don't usually work with. I play it safe and stick to writing typically. But this was so much fun. It made me want to branch out and stretch some creative muscles I tend to ignore. I used to love to sketch, paint, what have you. This experience made me take a second look and think, why not now?

Fun is fun. Creativity is creativity. Why limit myself to one form or another? It's all fair game. And hopefully seeing this hanging on my wall will be a daily reminder that just because I think I can't do something, doesn't make it the truth.
Ta-da! Move over, Van Gogh. There's new talent afoot.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm Kreativ, mmmKay?

I was recently informed that Maggie over at Maggie the Artist passed on the Kreativ Blogger Award to me!  How lovely. Thank you, Maggie!

It seems I have a few questions to answer. It goes along with accepting the award, and all. So here we go!

What is my favorite color? Purple. Pretty much hands down. I've always loved it. But honestly, I really like a lot of colors. So purple is my top pick, but the runners up are many!

What is my favorite animal? Dogs. I'm such a dog person. I really love dogs. Particularly my dog. But, again, I'm kind of an animal lover all around. But I just have to go with dogs on this one. Puppy love, you see.

What is my relaxation place? Oh, this is tough. Because I could pick the place I go the most to relax, or I could pick the place I'd most like to go to relax. How about I just do both? The place I typically go to relax is my room. I also go to Starbucks to just kind of hang out and exist and de-stress, but when I really need to relax, my best bet is where I live. Because there is where I can find peace and quiet. Now, the place I'd most like to go to relax? That's a bit more abstract. Like, think 'cabin in the woods', or 'quaint little house on the beach'. Somewhere with a view, preferably. If I ever travel to that perfect place, I'll let you know.

What is my vacation hot spot? Again, tough. I do so love vacations. My three favorite states I've actually vacationed in are New Mexico, California, and, most recently, New York. All lovely states. All great vacation spots.

Do I have a boyfriend? I do not. I'm one of those single ladies.

What color scheme did you wear in outfits this week? Color scheme? Oh dear. I'm afraid this week I've been too lazy for that. I wear jeans a lot. Does that count as a scheme?

What movie did you watch last? I watched the new Star Trek last night with my parents. Much fun was had by all!

What is your most used phrase? It changes. Lately? "Excellent."

Do you study or do you work? I would say, I work hard at studying. Especially this summer, what with my unfortunate (but necessary) run-in with Math. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

What is your favorite number? Probably 5. Or 17.

What are the names of your favorite friends? Well now that's just mean. I'm definitely not playing favorites. So there.

Do you drink soda, and if so, do you prefer Pepsi or Coca Cola? I actually don't drink sodas much anymore. I gave them up for quite some time—honestly, there's nothing nutritionally worthwhile in them at ALL—although lately I've admittedly succumbed to a soda or two. When I do, I enjoy Mt. Dew. Also, Sunkist. Or Sprite. (Let's face it, despite their utter unhealthiness, I do think they taste pretty good.)

What items do you carry with you always? Well, my iPhone is basically surgically attached to my hand. I also always carry my camera, my Kindle and/or my iPad, wallet, gum... All of this—except the phone, which you'll recall rarely leaves my hand—I carry in my purse. Which I also carry with me all the time.

What is your favorite day of the week? I don't know. Not Monday. Maybe Friday or Saturday. Or Sunday. Weekends are good.

And, now that my 'interview' is over, I get to pass on the award! I'd like to give this one to my good friend Bennett, of Grits 'N Gravy. Much much love to her! Be sure to pay her a visit!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

I don't know about you, but my holiday weekend has been surprisingly busy. I hope all of you had a Happy 4th of July, whether or not you were celebrating! Hey, a good day is a good day, am I right?

I ended up celebrating with a lovely group of people. And, as it turns out, a very musically inclined group of people. After we all chowed down on burgers and hotdogs, we gathered around the baby grand. There were three of us on guitar, and most of us singing. We played up a storm, sung old hymns with a blues beat, and then moved on to some Beatles tunes. The talent in this group of people blows me away. But that's not the point. The point is, it was a ton of fun. Music is a huge part of my life, though I'm not near as instrumentally gifted as some. So spending the 4th the way I did—and with the people I was with? Well, not much could top that.

It was so much fun to meet new people, and to visit with people I've known forever. A couple of people in attendance I have literally known my whole life. Most of them I've grown up around—Dad's co-workers and my parents' friends.

I left feeling so fortunate and so blessed to have the family that I have, and to know the people that I know.

The time I spent with friends and family was much more enjoyable to me than any fireworks show or parade. It's not really the size or grandeur of the even that matters, so much as who you share it with.

At least that's what I think.