If we had spoken last week*, I would have told you I’m not an artist.
I actually did tell someone that. We were talking about Paint Nite and I said I was going to check it out with a friend.
He said, “You strike me as artsy so right up your alley!”
“I am artsy,” I replied, “but not fine arts. I use words and cameras, not paints and pencils.”
Was I ever wrong!
For those who don’t know, Paint Nite is essentially a group painting lesson, but in a relaxed and non-judgemental setting. You’re especially set up against judging yourself. I would recommend it for a winning date, a girls’ night out, a solo artistic evening, or even a family activity, as long as there’s no young children – the tag line, after all, is “Drink creatively.”
As a group, you’re walked through the steps to creating the painting of the night (or day). Everyone makes a variation of the same painting. As you progress through the event, you can order drinks or food from the host venue, which will likely be a bar or pub. (Winnipeg venues include the King’s Head, Barley Brothers, and Saffrons.)
Two and a half hours after we started – with a blank canvas – I found myself staring (shocked) at the painting I’d just created myself, wondering where it had come from. Although I’d watched it emerge from beneath my brushes, it still seemed crazy that I could have created such a thing.
So now, people, I’m pleased to tell you that I paint. Present tense. We went straight from Paint Nite to Michaels and bought some brushes, the basic colours, and a couple of canvases each.
The coolest part for me is how it only took two hours to totally destroy my previous conceptions of my skills in this area. It’s not like I’ve been sitting around for the past 15 years, wishing I could paint a picture. No, it’s simply that, since I was a kid, I never believed I could do this – so I didn’t even try.
I dare you to get out there and try something new. Even if you’re not that interested in the new activity. Even if you’re positive you’ll be terrible at it. Maybe it won’t be your cup of tea, and maybe you won’t be great. But it never hurts to expand your horizons, and who knows? Maybe you’ll discover that you’re a painter, or a dancer, or a sculptor, or whatever it is.
Don’t let anyone paint you into a corner, especially not you.
Here’s my painting as it progressed:
*It’s been a couple of weeks now – I didn’t publish this post right away (had trouble uploading the photos!) so the timing is a little off.