Tag Archives: brushes and brews

I Want to Go Back to Art Class!

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Do you remember when I talked about the gymnastics unit we had in grade school gym class? How I never really appreciated the fact that our public school district had {or rented?} a set of gymnastics equipment that rotated to different schools in the district throughout the year? It’s only now that I’m learning that most kids didn’t have this opportunity to try out all of the fun stuff you see during the summer Olympics. I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have at the time.

The same is true for art class.

Art class was hard for me. I was a girl that did pretty well in school, but mostly because I tried to learn the right answers. Art is so much more subjective! And back in those days, I thought art was a natural skill – either you were artistic or you weren’t. Because I always got Bs in art class, I just assumed I wasn’t. And it wasn’t really that fun for me.

Now I wish I could go back to those art classes.

I don’t remember much from art class, except for the fact that our art teacher, Mr. Cook, had a beard. I wish I could just think back on what I’d learned. But I really can’t remember much at all.

And now I’m loving all of these painting classes that I’ve been taking!

Last night, my friend Jen and I took another one of these painting classes that I’ve been obsessing with lately. This one was with Brushes & Brews over at the Cherokee Tavern in West St. Paul.

This painting was titled:

Two to the Moon

Our instructor was Jessica Barnd, who is a high school art teacher. And it shows. She was an excellent instructor! This photo is of the Original painting on the right and the canvas she was working on as we went along on the left:

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Her teaching style suited me well. One of the things I love about these classes is that each one is so much different from the others. Not only am I painting a different picture, but I’m also learning different techniques from different instructors. I don’t always remember the techniques, but I’m always open to whatever is being taught. I love learning something new!

At the beginning, as per the usual, I had to Trust the Process:

Jessica showed us how to make “GPS points” in order to know where our moon, birds and major branches would go. I loved this strategy! When we started using black, she moved her canvas to the right and continued to use white instead so that everyone in the room could see what she was doing.

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At first, as we started drawing the branches, it looked like my birds were in the sea and I was drawing seaweed! This was my first thought; but when Jessica voiced this out loud about what we might be thinking about our paintings, I laughed!

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But as Jen and I know we had to Trust the Process

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And our finished works:

There is more to learn in these classes than just painting. One of the most important things I’ve learned is not to be too harsh on myself. I’m new at this. I don’t have a steady hand yet. Maybe I never will. Whenever we go to these classes I hear things like:

What are we supposed to be doing?

I can’t get my X to do X!

Mine doesn’t look like that!

I used to {and sometimes still do!} say these things, too. Everyone is so critical of their own work. And when you are sitting up close to your painting, it’s really easy to critique and compare with the original. We find that when we take a step back from the painting and look at it from the distance from which most art is viewed, we get a new perspective. And while we are busy criticizing ourselves, we look over and compliment a friend or neighbor’s painting, thinking about how it looks SOOOOOOO much better. But what’s funny is that person is usually thinking the same thing!

Here is a link to a photo of our class paintings. So you can see, everyone turns out with a REAL piece of artwork, whether you are experienced or not.

And after all is said and done and I take that piece of art home, I completely forget about every little detail that was nagging me during the painting process and just relish in the fact that it is mine.

I made it.

Painting is a process – just like life, with its flaws and all.

Trust That Process.

By the way… Did you know that blue is my favorite color? Well, I actually like all of the colors of the rainbow because they make life so beautiful. But if I *had* to pick one, it would be blue, because it is so calm and serene.

What’s your favorite color and why?

In what parts of life are you unsure of the outcome, but you try to trust the process?

Cheers~
Carrie

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A New Obsession…

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I’ve never thought of myself as an artistic type.

Never.

Ever.

So I don’t know what encouraged me to buy a Groupon to a Paint and Sip event. Maybe I was intrigued when I first learned about these from Lisa’s post. She lives in the Portland area and when I read/saw her post, I immediately thought, “I wish we had those here!” She said that she wasn’t an artist either. And her painting turned out beautifully!

And every website indicates that there is “no painting experience necessary!” I figured that they wouldn’t say that if they wanted happy customers. And it sounded like a lot of fun. So I bought two different deals to different events led by two different companies without ever having done much more than a paint-by-number as a child.

And now I am obsessed!

Generally, at these events, the cost includes your canvas, the use of brushes and paint and the instruction. Everyone is painting the same thing and you are given step-by-step instructions from an artist, although you can feel free to make your painting your own in any way that you want. The event lasts about three hours.

It’s called a Paint and Sip event because you can also buy beverages (alcoholic or non) to sip on (and/or relax yourself!) while you are painting. Sometimes food is offered, too.

In the Twin Cities metro area, I’ve been to classes run by:

  • Cheers Pablo – Studio in Woodbury
  • Brushes and Brews – Paint & Sip events at restaurants throughout the Twin Cities (generally the south metro)
  • Art and Elixir – Paint & Sip events at restaurants throughout the Twin Cities (generally the north metro)

Here’s what I’ve painted so far…

Table in the Rain

Cheers Pablo – Woodbury, MN

I attended my first event with my husband, not knowing what to expect. We decided to do a Couple’s Painting because why would we need two of the same painting in our house? What this meant is that while every one else was doing their own painting, we’d each be doing one-half of a painting on two separate canvases!

Sample of one canvas painting versus a Couple’s Painting on two canvases:

It’s amazing to think that we started with these canvases with a simple sketch…

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And of course a glass of wine…

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You might be wondering how a painting could look cohesive if you have two different people painting it. The instructor told us that we’d be swapping canvases throughout the night, so the work would be a combination of the two of us!

The process…

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But then Rob went rogue!

He decided that he didn’t want to “conform” and put windy rain on his side and refused to paint his side of the table the same color. At this point, we completely forgot all about swapping!

Here is our finished work:

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It was a ton of fun! It’s a unique piece of work that represents the two of us.

I was hooked.

~

Wine & Song

Brushes and Brews – painted at Casper’s in Eagan

My friend and I chose this painting mainly because of location and timing. In the banquet room, the artist had a sample of the work we’d be doing and another canvas he’d be working on himself as he guided us along through the project.

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This time, we started with a blank canvas. Jen and I discussed how relaxing it was to make brushstrokes into these circles to form our background.

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The process:

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And our finished paintings to bring home…

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Owl Always Love You

Cheers Pablo – Woodbury

My friend Kim said she wanted to do this painting for her daughter:

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I agreed, but wasn’t sure those colors would go in my house. {But, duh, you can make the painting any color you want.} Then Rob had the great idea to give the painting to his parents for Christmas! It would be a one-of-a-kind piece of art especially from me.

But there is a little pressure for an inexperienced artist when you know you are giving it as a gift. Plus, I didn’t want them to feel like they’d have to hang up a(n adult) child’s artwork in their home. But I went with it.

When we arrived, they gave us all sorts of options:

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I decided to stick to the winter theme because I loved how the owls were snuggling and wearing scarves and earmuffs! Kim decided to go with the spring version.

This time, we started with a blank canvas. We got to do a swirly circle background again! Here’s how we started out…

Don’t they look creepy without the eyes!?

And the rest of my process…

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And here’s our finished work… success!

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When Kim’s daughter saw the painting, she pointed out that the little owl was her and that the bigger owl was Kim. How cute is that?!

I didn’t like how dark I made the circles around my red owl’s eyes. So I turned them into glasses! I think he looks like a professor. My mother-in-law said that she is going to name them!

~

Stone Arch Bridge

Cheers Pablo – Woodbury

I told the girls that I really wanted to paint the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis because it kind of holds a special place in my heart because Rob and I have had some of my favorite dates walking that area of town like this time and this time.

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We all felt like this was the most difficult one we had done yet. We had a hard time looking past the painting itself and looking at it in terms of shapes instead. As usual, we started with the background.

I was having a hard time creating the colors I wanted to. In the photo below, where we began to sketch in the buildings, you can see the bridge that we are trying to paint on the screen on the wall. Those are the colors I wanted.

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We were all confused on how this could possibly turn out like that painting. But then I realized we needed to relax and just have fun. That’s when, out of nowhere, I said,

“Just Trust the Process.”

Kim just about fell over laughing. And it became our quote of the afternoon. And it was fun. Here are some photos of what I painted while I was trusting the process…

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And our final masterpieces!

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Jen and I are signed up for another class with Brushes and Brews in February. Let me know if you want to join us!

Come back tomorrow to see what Rob and I painted at Art and Elixir – our pooches!!!

What is the most artistic thing you’ve made?

Cheers~
Carrie