I take breaks from painting – not by choice, but due to life. I work, have a family, am a single parent, and I have other commitments and things I am involved with. There are weekends that start off where I look at my canvas, excited to get started and I think, I will just get the laundry started and then get started, or I should go shopping first and start this afternoon, or the phone rings and company is on the way . . . and before I know it its Sunday night. Life.
But with life getting in the way of too many weekends lately, I decided to schedule some time with a friend to attend a Paint Nite in my favorite location – Chatham, MA. You may have heard of these events – they set up in a bar or restaurant, bring all the supplies, and an instructor guides a room full of (mostly) women sipping wine through a painting in two hours flat. Not exactly what I had in mind for my next artistic creation — but I found it was fun! And, more importantly, it reminded me that art is part of my life and I need to make time for it – even if scheduled into a two hour block.
By taking a step back, and participating in a class that I thought was strictly for novices or beginners, I was able to move forward and get my head around the realization that my artwork is a part of me that I should not ignore. I am happy when I am creating – whether writing a book (I write, too) or creating a painting or doing something crafty . . . By putting all of life’s responsibilities first, not only would I never really find the time to paint, but the frustration of looking at those lovely blank canvases week after week is enough to drive you mad . . . and then who cares if all the socks are matched up in the laundry basket?
Also, I found that by letting myself approach the class as just a fun night with a girlfriend over wine, relaxing and talking, not expecting to gain much, I learned a new trick. Something simple that I may have learned years ago and forgot, or never knew at all – but it gave me a sense of excitement to get home and paint and try this technique again.
Lastly, even if you paint as just a hobby – or never painted at all – I would suggest trying one of these Paint Nites as an entertaining night of exploration. All 32 of the women (and one man) at Chatham Bars Inn the other night let their inner artist out, had fun, and went home with a new creation. And isn’t that what life is really about – having fun, being creative, enjoying friends and continually learning and pushing yourself to try new things?