Art + Wine Classes: Yay or nay?

I think because I like to pretend I’m a true artist I was a little apprehensive and judgmental about those wine and art classes. The fact that everyone does the same exact picture makes them seem non-artisty to me. All the art classes I’ve taken as an adult have been ones where you can do whatever the hell you want without being instructed. Which is maybe why half the time they make me so stressed out and hate myself. And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, there’s a BAR at these trendy classes! I could be convinced to take a calculus class if they told me there was a bar there.

So I decided to give it a try. With my mom and older sister in tow, I showed up for a Wednesday night class to paint an autumn scene. First thing’s first, we got wine at the bar. (They were out of champagne, exCUSE me?! Whatever.) Then I started sizing up my competition. For some reason, arts and crafts makes me super competitive (wouldn’t it be nice if work or real life did that to me?) so I wanted to make sure mine would be the best. Or better than my sister’s at least.

Here we are, just the happiest little family of painters.

image (1)

The weird thing about the class is that I kind of felt like I was painting blind. It was a much different experience than when I sit down to paint at home or in a class. The actual picture we were copying was about the size of a postage stamp and hung on the wall .5 miles away so that wasn’t much help. Mom kept freaking out about this fact. She also started adding cobblestones without being told and totally going AWOL on her picture and then everyone loved it. I had half a mind to tell on her. But I actually found the experience liberating. Since I just did what I was told and had no idea what I was really supposed to be doing, there was much less to stress out about (except when the goddamn bar was going to be open for service again). The process is a little dumbed down and not every single detail is included but I think that definitely helped make the project easier and completable in a few hours. I can’t remember the last time I finished a painting in that amount of time…or a quarter of that amount of time. So yay for finishing one!

Overall rating: An A! It was fun, so much less stressful than normal, fun to hang with the fam, drink, and accomplish something.

image (2)

Lessons learned:

  1. Just always be drinking when you’re painting. Just do it.
  2. Not every detail needs to be painted.
  3. Frequent cheese breaks are a must. (My sister’s snacks totally helped my…inspiration, or whatever.)
  4. There’s always someone whose painting is worse than yours to make you feel better.

You can buy my picture for $5,000. I swear there are only like 50 others like it out there.

Ta da!

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Painted Alaskan Landscapes

In honor of my upcoming trip to Alaska (I leave Friday, eee! Oh wait, sorry, you don’t care, my bad), I decided to post two paintings I did when I lived there for a year (finding new things out about me all the time, eh?). My sister’s mother-in-law is a professional painter there (oils and pastels, mainly) and we were lucky enough to be able to use her studio and her expertise whenever we wanted. While there, a number of students, my sister and I included, took a trip to Seward, AK for a plein air painting experience. “Plein air” just means “open air” in French and so that’s where we painted. It was cool enough just to be among of group of artists (if I can call myself that) painting out in the grass along the coastline, not to mention the Alaskan scenery is more than enough inspiration! (Side note: It is also really interesting to see how different people paint the same/similar subject.  I am always amazed at what a variety of styles and interpretations there are.) So here are the two paintings I did there. The first was from the water looking inland of a mountain (wish I knew the name of it but there are so so many there, who knows if there is one?!) and the second was more inland on the docks.

Seward MountainAK3