St. James Art Fair is this weekend. Have you seen my entry? I’m still waiting to hear what booth it will be showcased in. Probably a really big one, and they will light it and hang it prominently.
I call it “Tree that is possibly on Fire with Sunglasses and a Mustache at the Bottom.”
Didn’t you know I was artist? Oh sure, I do it in my spare time between working, carpooling, cooking, homeworking, cleaning and survival. It is just so easy to pull out all my art supplies and concentrate on a painting for hours around this house. Piece of cake.
Okay, stop laughing. I did this masterpiece at the new Sips and Strokes on Bardstown Road. I went with a group of girls and we painted for almost three hours (and did I mention that we drank wine and there is a bar there). It was basically a Painting 101 class, complete with an instructor who walked us through every part of the process. Sips and Strokes has a new painting every NIGHT that you can paint. Last Tuesday night, it was a painting of a Kentucky tree in fall. You have to make a reservation in advance and upon entrance, I see why. I’m there ten minutes early and it is already crowded and people are ready to paint. I am not.
So I get started gathering supplies. It is pretty straight forward, and they provide everything. Pick up a canvas and a palette.
Grab a paint rag.
Take your palette and do a blob of each color paint laid out on the paint bar.
Grab a cup and fill with water.
Grab an apron.
Brushes are bundled and tied with a cute paint rag. Extra brushes for later are in these organized pails.
But most importantly, swing by the bar and get a drink before you get started. Great wine by the way, Sips and Strokes. Two snaps on that one.
Canvases are lined up and ready to go. There are four to five people on each side of a table, so there is not a lot of room for all our drinks.
Our first directive is to paint the top 3/4 of the canvas blue. See the blue mix on my palette. That is the sky. The instructor is met with a sea of raised hands at this point. This is where you divide the Type A personalities from the Type B ones. There were a few people that wanted a tape measure to get the 3/4 of the canvas part exactly right proportionally. Anxiety starts to percolate that our skies will not look right. As for me, I have become very Type B in this class and just start painting. If I could do math, I would have probably worried about the sky to land ratio more. But I decide to just wing it.
We paint the bottom portion as the “land” and mix paint accordingly for that. Then we draw clouds, flicking white paint all over the top of the canvas. Across the board, people were unhappy with their clouds and kept trying to fix them, even at the end of class. The last cloud I painted were the ones at the end of my rainbow with my name in dot letters. This is a lot harder than I remember.
Many people in the group found it was hard to paint sitting down. Jill, shown below, decides to just stand up and go from there.
Done with the first round of painting, and we blow dry our canvases or just swing them around to dry them. At this point, we are thinking, where is this big Kentucky tree going to go??
Getting back to work, teacher has us paint the tree. Painting the shadows below the tree proved to be the hardest part of the operation. Please refer to my picture. My shadows look like sunglasses and a mustache. That’s with two hours of blending the stupid thing.
Okay, we are half-way through at this point and it seems like a blink of an eye. I record the moment in alcohol consumption.
This class would not notice if the room was on fire at this point we are all so focused.
At this point we are finishing up. It has been over two hours and it feels like ten minutes. At this point, after numerous failed attempts to make my clouds seem wispier and my tree to not look like the Keebler Elves’ Cookie Treehouse, I give up. I clean my brushes and cash in. Mindy agrees and she starts drying her canvas.
Not these two. Caroline and Jill, along with a couple others, are still not entirely done. Honestly, you could stay here and fuss over this all night.
This is the best part. See the mess below. It’s not your problem!! No clean up!! All the reasons why you don’t let your children finger paint, they do not exist.
You could do a psychological case study on people’s palettes in front of their paintings. Mine was shredded and a complete mess. My neighbor’s, shown below, was just a nice sea of yellow. I guess that means I’m the serial killer.
This is our teacher’s final product. The scratch sheet to the left of the painting was supposed to show us the strokes we were to emulate.
Here is our group shot below. We took it “Monet-style,” meaning it looked much better from far away. The interesting thing was how similar, yet different they all were.
P.S. Don’t wear your white jeans to a painting class. Even the apron doesn’t make it safe. Stupid move.
Sips and Strokes is located at 2458 Bardstown Road and their phone number is 595-8873. For more information or to sign up for classes click here.
My painting will be on display, for a limited showing only, in the far corner of my basement. Ticketmaster is handling all the exhibition details.