Artistic expression

Artistic expression

My best friend and I went to a Paint Nite event Tuesday night with a women’s group in our city. There was a Groupon and she promised booze. The bar had avocado fries too. Bonus!!

Let’s be clear here. I have the artistic ability of a drunken jellyfish. I can follow instruction pretty well and fake my way through things. Hand me a blank paper and tell me to “make art,” and I will stare at that paper in indecision for hours.
I can imagine people, aliens, dragons, other planets, etc. and write a description of them in detail. I can’t draw them for shit.
We managed to get to the bar about twenty minutes before the class started. Which gave us just enough time to order food and drinks and say hi to the other people we knew in class. One Guinness and the aforementioned avocado fries later and it was time to start.
nothing to see here yet
Why is this such a scary thing when it’s blank?
Paint Nite doesn’t give you time to second guess yourself with “what if my sky isn’t right?” or “oh no my line is off, what do I do?” You push ahead. Get that blue sky on there because after that we are going to put the black night sky above it and you don’t want to be behind.
I realized at some point that everyone has that cruel inner critic. We are all painting the same thing. We are using the exact same brushes and the same techniques. Every person in our group had a comment about how bad they thought their painting was and praise for the rest of us. It’s kinda comforting not feeling alone in that.
We mixed three colors for the sandy beach. Then we have a conversation about how orange some of us (me) mixed our beach color. Someone across the table asked if it was a “presidential Cheeto dust” color which cracked me up. My friend lamented that her beach was a straight line which made me realize I painted mine to look like a pair of boobs. I kind of flattened things out when we added in the water so they look like A cups instead of the D’s I originally made.
Grass gave me trouble until I figured out most of my frustration was coming from a bad brush. It was a little too fuzzy and kept blending the grass instead of letting me make actual blades. I switched to a larger but flatter brush and got the hang of it.
Now we paint waves. Okay, but what the instructor is doing is exactly what I’m doing and my white squiggles do not look like waves. Mine look like…like.
“Mine looks like worms.”
“I have little white birds.”
“Does this look like a sperm?”
Good to know I’m not alone in my critique of little white lines on my painting.
Time for the moon. Time for the discovery that circles are hard to make and that painting white on top of not yet dry black makes gray. The moon is not gray. I am annoyed. Stars, however, totally doable.
Painting the clouds is where I learned that no one can see the brush pattern from a foot away. This is also where I learned that less is more, and what the instructor meant about overworking the paint.
Then we were done. Sort of. It’s kinda boring.
“We have extra time so if you want to add anything to your painting, you can.”
My friend added a shark fin and a pool of blood with a dismembered arm. Someone else added in a seagull. I put in the Loch Ness Monster, missed with my brush and had to give Nessie spines. Then I tried adding in the Serenity. It didn’t work due to the fuzzy brush problem, but it’s mostly recognizable.
daa dum, daa dum
Shark attack
Not sure if the Serenity and Nessie belong in the same 'verse, but ok.
I made an art!
This was much more fun than I expected it to be. It was only a little stressful at first due to the usual introvert in a social setting reasons. I got panicky at first about trying to fill in the blue on my sky, but once I let go of my perfectionist issues I had a blast.

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