Recap of Part 1: I’d signed my husband and I up for this really awesome Paint A Splash adventure where you paint and drink wine in the tasting room at a winery. The project was lavender fields which is pretty much my favorite thing. This launched a birthday celebration get-away for the two of us which made it that much more special.
General Yelp Review: 5 –no 10– stars! If any part of you wants to paint, you’ve got to find a class like this and go.
We drove out into the oak studded hills, where wineries like to live, and to a tasting room set up with 20 easels, each with its own paint plate, canvas, brush set, and apron. Each artist can choose a spot at the table, and a glass (or bottle) from the bar.
Our very attentive Erin was at the bar the entire time to refill glasses, shoot pictures, and share local fun facts like “we now have 32 wineries in the North North.” Who knew? Even if you don’t imbibe, it’s handy to have an Erin lurking around.
We had a picnic while we waited, primarily due to our poor planning on checking the time of the restaurant which closed (oddly enough) at 2 on a Friday. Make lemonade! We hit the Holiday deli and ate al fresco under the trees.
After everyone settled in we had step-by-step instruction from Sylvia Bee, instructor extraordinaire. She had this sketched out on our canvas before we got started which really helped newbies like us who have never painted a stroke. Most people were new painters so this took the edge off the fear of a blank canvas.
At Sylvia’s instruction, we started at the top and worked our way down the canvas. My “aha moment” came when I looked at how unique everyone’s creations were at each level of the landscape. We all were told how to make the sky, but each sky was very different. It made me think about how each of us are all here for a purpose, but the manifestation of that unique thumbprint plays out so differently for each of us. That’s why comparing our journeys (or our paintings) is silly. We all live our own unique trajectory. And dismissing our process (“it’s like painting by numbers” was a common murmur) is counterproductive. Baby steps are master teachers.
On that comparing thing, there was definitely a palpable current of nervous energy from many of the painters in the room who worried that their neighbor’s trees (clouds, lavender rows, etc.) were better than theirs. The wine helped a little, but not entirely. I suppose this is human nature, but if I’d had a wand and could pick my wish for those painters, I’d have wished for each painter to relax, enjoy the journey, and just appreciate the beauty of her own creation.
And process. Even with measured instruction, everybody has a different style. Take my creative husband, for example. He did his lavender rows upside down. So clever.
After walking through each layer of the canvas, and blow drying our levels in between, we had our big decision of the night: a house or sheep. I picked sheep, which looked a lot like fish until we learned the secret “sharpie in the legs” trick.
If you live locally and want to do this, Sylvia rocks. http://winewebdesign.com/splash/ If you don’t live locally, find one near you. Go ahead! Get creative.