When the email arrived inviting me to join friends at a guided-painting event, I hesitated to reply. My sister – an accomplished printmaker and book artist living in Minneapolis – would be in town, and I worried that she wouldn’t want to spend an evening “learning” how to paint.
At the same time, I thought it might be fun to have a “girls’ night out,” which would involve wine and appetizers in addition to creating a canvas. What’s more, the event was a fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club, so we would be supporting a good cause.
My sister was game, so off we went to the Canvas! Paint and Sip studio in Kirkland on Sunday evening.
A lively, young instructor would be guiding us in replicating a lovely “Sunflowers” painting. She first gave a few pointers for mixing paints and using brushes, and then led us in covering our canvasses with a background color. Three of my friends mixed aqua, as instructed, and my sister created a lovely deep blue. Two other guests selected a different painting to replicate, so worked on a cream-colored base.
I decided to match my artwork to my home, which includes several burnt-sienna (remember your Crayolas?) walls. Thinking I would make a bold artistic statement, I mixed yellow, orange, white and a little blue into brown for my work’s base. “We have a name for that color at art school,” Jody said. “Monkey sh@t brown.” We both burst out laughing, which caused the instructor to glance our way.
After a short break to allow our backgrounds to dry, it was on to the flowers. “I really just want to paint dots,” Jody whispered to me. This was no surprise; some of her early prints included dots and other “do-dads.”
“Go ahead,” I told her. “It’s not like you’re going to get in trouble for painting what you want.”
She gave me a big smile and said, “Thanks. I really just needed someone to give me permission.”
So, as the rest of us painted stems and pedals, Jody worked on rows of yellow dots on a deep-blue background. My disaster-in-progress...progressed. To learn more about our incessant giggles and bonding experience, click here for the entire PermissionSlips blog post. My friend and colleague Carol Gullstad and I update our blog weekly.