All those folks making their own messes with paint and brush on a recent episode of Undercover Boss caught my attention. This, I told my dear wife Karen, looked like something I could get into.
And so we pulled up to the Liverpool Painting with a Twist this past Saturday night, signed up and psyched for Date Night.
Karen had visited the franchise at which they hand you a plain white slate, sit you down at the easel, provide you with brushes, paint and instruction, and tell you to have fun. We have her original of the wine she made alongside her friends to prove it. I wanted to hang it on the walls of The Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood as soon as my eyes rested upon it, but she was too modest.
So I knew she had talent. As for myself … Art class was not my friend throughout my school days. I cannot draw a straight line freehand even now. No matter.
I saw that the patrons were having fun on that TV show. And we were going to bring wine, cheese and crackers and play nice.
Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.
The materials to create are set right there in front of you.
The surroundings are designed to put you in the mood for creating. The walls are full of work that at some point will be on the front easel for all the paint and bring home.
Once all the class participants settle into their seats, eyes are directed to the front of the room.
The instructor for the night takes her spot on an elevated stage. On one side is a finished example of what everybody will be painting. On the other is her two white canvases. She’ll be taking us all through the process step by step.
We all start with Big Papa, the thick brush, to complete our backgrounds.
We blended colors and stroked sideways.
Karen was more concerned than I about our sides looking like a matched set. I figured they should have some individuality within the overall effect.
Between stages, we were encouraged to visit the hair dryers to make sure our paintings were set and ready to continue. The process brought me back to my days working in the paint department at Lowe’s, when we used hair dryers to set the custom color chips we’d dabbed on the top of the customers’ lids. But I digress.
We both agreed with the instructor that it was important our halves aligned right where we shared the island. Carefully we carved our land.
At break, the instructor had us all paint a pig on a plate. She read the results of a personality test based on the positioning of the pig and some such. The clincher was the length of the tail. The person who drew the longest tail won another painting session. We did not win. We laughed a lot, though, and agreed that Karen’s pig looked like a Scott Terrier and mine like a Hedgehog.
Lastly came the finer details. We had to paint our palm trees. I must admit this was the part I’d been dreading, what with my lack of artistic skills. So I listened hard and watched my wife work next to me. Nevertheless, her side of the painting has lovely palm trees and mine has pine trees. When I declared that out loud, the rest of the class looked at my canvas and laughed. Karen told me they looked like Torrey Pines from her beloved San Diego. That made me feel better.
I’m told the group class picture will go up on the establishment’s page. There was good work done. We all had fun. Afterward I noticed that we worked so hard that we never broke out our cheese and crackers. We ate them at home, with the rest of the wine that we brought with us.
I’ve still never painted a straight line. I didn’t need one.
If you’ve attended an event like this, what did you think of it? If you’ve painted a project, how did it turn out? Which is your favorite photo, and why?