A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a new creative outlet that I had never really explored before: painting. Not just on the computer with imprecise tools but with a paintbrush on a canvas.
Okay, so I painted a faux Door of Durin (complete with Elvish script containing my own name, of course) on my bedroom door at my parents’ house, but that was the most I had ever done besides paint a wall. So when the opportunity arose to paint something with a group of friends, I figured it was worth a try. I ended up discovering that painting isn’t unattainable magic. It’s more like writing a story.
When I say it’s like writing a story, I mean that there are many elements. Certainly more than I know from one couple hour group painting lesson. But it’s a bunch of tiny things put together that create the magic. And there’s so much variety that can happen with those tiny things. It’s not that there’s no wrong way to do it, but it seems that there are many right ways to make it work.
The most mind-blowing revelation of the evening was that the entire canvas needed to be painted one color before anything else happened. In my case, we used acrylic paints and a brown base. When the instructor told us to paint over it with other colors (blacks and grays) but not completely cover it, I didn’t quite understand. However, as I painted, I realized that the brown shows through. Adds depth. I would have thought it would mess up the painting. Instead, it makes it more interesting.
One of the fun things was watching how everyone interpreted the different instructions we were given. Only one person in the group had any painting experience before this. Her strokes were pretty effortless. I fiddled until I understood how it was being done. Once I did, it was amazing to see how each of us painted the trees, shrubs, and fields so differently, yet they all looked great.
After we finished the main body of the painting, we were allowed to add our own details. Some people added flowers. Several of us added cats (because we’re crazy cat ladies). I decided to add some very apropos things into mine…
I know one pretty good painting doesn’t make me even a novice artist, but the thing I discovered through the process is that I like doing this. A lot. Maybe enough to buy some acrylic paints, brushes, and an easel to play with it on my own…
Do you paint? Have you discovered any unexpected hobbies?