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.


Loryn said...

Love it!
I want to have my birthday there!

The Reading Bear said...

I had a similar experience last year at college. Now I am kinda hooked on painting. It helps me clear my head. :)

Kate said...

Your painting turned out REALLY well. Starry Night is also one of my favorites and I've got it hanging in my house in my office.

The concept of going to a little workshop to paint for a few hours with your friends is awesome. I know my group of friends was looking into doing something like that, but it was pottery which I think would have been pretty fun as well.

In any case, it looks like you've got some real artistic talent there, keep it up! :-)

Maggie said...

Love it! Way to go exploring your artistic side :)

Temporary Walls New York said...

The paint was very nice.. I like the combinations of the colors.. And the finished product was very good.. Keep it up.

Ariel Eishen said...

Hey, that is great! Way better than I would do!

Sarah said...

@Loryn—I highly recommend it! It was a lot of fun. :)

@The Reading Bear—I love finding new things to take up. :)

@Kate—Thanks so much! And I agree, pottery would be a lot of fun!

@Maggie—Thank you, ma'am!

@Temp Walls NY—Thanks!

@Ariel—It's better than I thought I could do! Ha! :) Thanks!