Posted tagged ‘painting’

Paint ’til you faint

March 6, 2013

***I promised my friend Katie at Domestiphobia that I would write this to show her that if I can do the artsy stuff, she can do a video game review. Go pester her to hold up her end of the unknown bargain.***

A few weeks ago, Achebeyo started making noises about wanting to try this:

Now, let’s forget for a moment that I’ve failed to detail here the number of times I’ve tried to get her to reconnect with her inner Picaso (or whichever artist worked best with charcoal or oils), and let’s also forget that she re-gifted all of the art supplies I bought for her early on in our relationship. Can we do that? Let’s hope you can.

In that picture above, you’ll notice what appears to be a Sesame Street “which one of these” conundrum. Typically, if those three words are together, it’s because someone (usually female…or the same sex equivalent) has dragged you to a pretentious show where the main redeeming factors are the copious amounts of fermented grape juice and some flimsy snacks to cram your face-hole with. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy art, I simply cannot abide the snobbery associated with it.

Getting back to that sign, were it to be missing one element (not hard to imagine which one), I might have begged off to immerse myself in endless asteroid mining for imaginary profit online (EVE). However, the element of tighty-whitey loosening beverages was enough to get me to readily agree. Well, that and wanting to spend some time with Achebeyo out of the suburban cave doing something new.

Luckily for us, two doors away from this alcoholic artist’s dream is a wine shop with unique and varied wines I’ve never seen in any of the fine grocery store shelves I’ve perused previously. Some I just wanted to buy for their fun or funny labels (here’s where a picture of those labels would have really cemented this into reality for you), and some were necessary to ensure my paint-pimp hand didn’t commence with erratic and definitively inartistic canvas-slapping.

We opted for a wine called Electra:

If you’re the type of professional wino who prefers to have their mouth assaulted with sharp, dry wines that drive you to act as if you’re having cake when you’re wishing you were having cake instead, this isn’t the wine for you. This is more like dude, we totally spiked the grade school fruit punch. Make a note, teachers: nap time will never be more quiet.

We walked in to a clean, tidy room with everything already waiting for us…

plus the smock wall (who doesn’t love the word smock? Those who don’t, it’s only one letter away from physical abuse, so get back on board, will you?)…

and walls covered in the kind of inspiration I’d need to attempt even a basic, monochromatic jab at covering a canvas. We were set.

At some point while we sipped wine and waited for everyone else to arrive (I loathe getting anywhere “on time”, which I call “almost late; this is a frequent point of contention between Achebeyo and I), talks began of trying this again, perhaps on the uber-challenging paint your pet (or as Achebeyo called it after a glass of wine, pet your paint) night. I told her I’d have to wait and see how¬†this session turned out before I’d commit to making a greater fool of myself.

Once everyone was situated and ready to rock and/or roll, our guide began giving us basic instructions…which I promptly lost track of while taking this establishing shot of my canvas:

Thankfully, the patient guide happily reiterated her instructions: we would be painting an impressionistic version of a waterfall, tree and multicolored mountains of varying distances. My painting would require quantum physics to explain some of the irregularities in the terrain, it turns out.

Using acrylic paints, we started brushing on colors, and mixing colors and watering down colors to the sounds of the party music coming from the back room where a private group was holding creative court. I got this far before the giggling couple behind me began to make me feel self-conscious:

Understand that they weren’t laughing at me or my frantic efforts to get it right, dude! They were having their own fun with their own canvases. But when you walk into something like this already digesting failure pie, innocuous giggling can make you twitchy. Oh, and the wine was no help after all, because I became so engrossed in what I was doing that I forgot to drink. It felt like sacrilege.

With all of my focus on not screwing my painting up, and not snapping on the giggling couple behind me, I also forgot to take additional in-progress pictures. You’re left to figure out on your own how we got to the point where mountains can exist both in front of and behind each other:

Achebeyo would later (lovingly) comment that my tree reminds her of an ant. Apparently a genetic abomination of an ant, with no head and disproportionate appendages. Her painting is better, but she made me swear, on pain of permanent guest room sleeping, not to post hers. Take my word for it, she’s the artistic one of the two of us.

After we finished, we wandered around to see the different takes everyone had on the project. Most were similar to ours with subtle variations that might indicate precise personality differences, if one were inclined to analyze them. One guy had apparently just returned from Mordor, because his painting reflected a recent terror-ridden flight from Mount Doom. Still pretty cool, but I wouldn’t want to see how long it took my skin to dissolve in his waterfall.

Even though I entered this adventure with some trepidation and anxiety, I actually had a lot of fun painting with Achebeyo, and will likely try it again. Just not on kindergarten skills aren’t going to cut it night.

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