Tonight I want to share a little about my Friday night date with PC at I Painted That!
PC and I live in far northeast El Paso where we enjoy the loveliest mountain views in the city. The northeast is also the city’s undiscovered gem. We have limited shopping options, few really nice restaurants. So when something new opens in our neck of the woods, those of us in the northeast get really excited.
As is the case with I Painted That!
Friday night was the grand opening of the northeast’s very own social painting gallery.
Painting is certainly more my cup of tea than Paul’s, but my sweet husband agreed to accompany me. And a number of my teacher friends and acquaintances registered to participate, too.
So what is social painting, you ask?
Social painting is a combination of a loosely structured yet step-by-step painting lesson and a party! Participants are limited to around 20 people with no prior art or painting experience required. For the $35 registration fee, the studio provides paint, canvas, brushes, aprons and an instructor. “Painters” bring their own favorite snacks and beverages (adult or otherwise) and their sense of fun and creativity.
I Painted That! provides a monthly calendar with the paintings to be featured each two-hour session. Generally, all of the participants in a class paint the same picture. They follow along as the instructor demonstrates the step-by-step process on her own canvas at the front of the gallery. Occasionally, a “Pick Your Painting” night is offered where participants can choose which of several dozen choices they want to paint.
Before the session begins, the instructor has already lightly outlined the subject of the painting onto each blank canvas. As participants signed in and got settled, paint was distributed on a paper plate ‘palette’, along with brushes and containers of water.
This was the painting we were replicating on Friday night.
We began by adding background color around the objects – the flowers, the flower pot.
Once the background was in, we moved to painting the flower pot. Our instructor, Blanca, helped us to see the highlights and shadows on the container and walked the class through mixing paints to achieve the desired tones and shades.
(In looking at this original painting as posted on the I Painted That! website, I realize that we shaded our paintings differently, hmm. Our highlights and shadows are on opposite sides from the original.)
Here are some pictures documenting our progress.
If you look closely at the photo on the left, you can see the still life sketched lightly onto the canvas for us. In the center photo and the one on the right, we have applied our background color and are beginning to paint the flower pot.
Paul had really never painted before (unless you count houses and model airplanes) but he is a natural! Look at the great shading he did on the flower pot. Look at the mess of mixed up color on my paper plate palette.
And here are our finished paintings.
That may or may not be paint on my forehead.
The picture below was featured here on the I Painted That! Facebook page.
A class full of master painters and masterpieces.
Opening night was especially fun because the gallery provided an open bar – adult beverages, soda, water – for all of the artists. Look at the clever names of the drinks offered for free.
As you no doubt know by now, I really floundered around the first year of retirement. One of the activities I tried was I Painted That!. My first experience was in July 2014, when some of the same teacher/school nurse/social worker-counselor/speech therapist/librarian friends of mine and I got together to try it out.
That night we painted our own version of Van Gogh’s well known “Starry Night”. Here is a picture from that first go-round.
I am hiding in the back because my picture was not quite finished. I have come a long way! The
July 2014 me agonized over every brush stroke. I was so afraid to mess up. The new, improved me just slapped that paint right on there. Then sat on the front row for pictures.
If you are looking for something different to do, I highly recommend social painting. There are galleries all over the United States. Click here for the names of other social painting studios, maybe there’s one near you?
Hugs and paint-smeared kisses,