Last night Michelle, my best friend from college, and I got together to do a little celebrating of Michelle’s recent birthday and to do a little painting. About ten years ago, we started a little tradition of celebrating our birthdays together – they are six months apart to the day (she is November 19th and I am May 19th) which makes us 18 months apart in age. One day I hope to be as wise as my younger friend.
Anyway, we started with getting together for lunch and a spa treatment. Michelle started it by giving my first massage at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa when it was still housed at the NorthPark Neiman Marcus and over time, we realized that we weren’t really getting to visit much so we switched to pedicures so we could really catch up.
Last year Michelle started taking a painting class for her own personal mommy time and as usual, she probably influenced me in the thought process. Ironically, I have to share – it was Michelle who helped me buy my first Nikon SLR camera back when I was working at Montgomery Ward in Lubbock as I was finishing up at Texas Tech. And Michelle has been one of my biggest supporters with her home covered in photos I have taken of her and her family. Which reminds me of this photo which I just came across earlier this week…
Yes, Michelle designed and created her dress plus she recovered the couch and the cool art poster was hers too. Ironically, last night at the Frisco Painting with a Twist, the music du jour was 80s music so lots of memories of past dancing clubs came flooding back in.
Notice Michelle’s hairdo which reminds me of Madonna’s True Blue album cover from 1986 – about the time this photo was taken…
Okay, back on track, instead of toes painting for Michelle’s recent birthday, I thought going to Painting with a Twist might be a nice fit. My sister Evah took me back in the fall and this is what we painted, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night:
For comparison sake, here’s the original… Definitely a bit more complex.
But that’s what’s fun about Painting with a Twist and all the other similar options out there – it’s not serious but it can be seriously fun especially if you incorporate your own vino which is highly encouraged. And for someone who wants to learn more about the act of painting, it is educational and for me, liberating.
Michelle seemed to find it encouraging that she went home with a completed work. But is it ever really finished? On both of my painting experiences, I know I need to go back for some fixing but again in both instants, I had a great time, learned a lot and last night I even got to hear some Yaz!
Here’s the art instructors guidance from last night. He painted the top version earlier in the day to remind himself how it’s done and then the lower version is as he was teaching us.
Here’s my work when we took a break from doing the backgrounds to start on the top painting. My canvas is upside down drying painting I did on the edge of the painting and to give me a fresh perspective of what I was working on.
To do the shading on the red tulips petals, we were advised to dip the tip of our paint brush in black paint – here’s an out of focus phone photo of that…
The whole dipping the brush in two different colors is revolutionary for my soul. I experienced this technique (which probably very basic to painting) with the first stroke on the Starry Night and something I really don’t know that I could have done on my own with the Acrylic Painting for Dummies book I had borrowed from the Grapevine Public Library. I know this says a lot about me, some things that I’m not even sure I knew were there. But because I was told to do this, that gave me the permission and WOW! It was so freeing and liberating!
Messy chaos surrounds us in life and for probably a multitude of reasons, I gravitate to wanting to control the process but by letting go and trusting the flow and the process, something so much more beautiful and delicately orchestrated happened – natural blending. It’s like poetry when it works. Like being able to dive into the ocean cleaning off the deck of a sailboat – something I want to do deliciously well. For now, it’s a little extra fun on a week night.
Thanks for the fun Michelle and Happy Birthday a little late!