Tag Archives: painting

5 Things from Yesterday for Friday

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1) Yesterday, I had my first Malaysian Milky Bun at Satay 2 Go.

Milky Bun

Milky Bun

2) Yesterday, my husband bought a bottle of my favorite hard cider of all time.

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3) Yesterday, we took in a visitor.

Lenny!

Lenny!

4) Last Night, It snowed six inches. I got stuck at the end of the driveway this morning. Happy Spring?

5) Last night, I painted the Eiffel Tower à la Van Gogh. (No, I did not deface La Tour Eiffel, I painted it on canvas.)

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I’m still addicted to these painting classes. It’s very therapeutic and relaxing, even when I don’t think mine is as good as the original. I’m still a novice!

What’s the best thing that happened to YOU yesterday?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

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

Painting our Pooches!

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It’s time for the second installment of

Sophie and Shamrock Saturday!

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Back in November, I received an email in my inbox for an offer to have a customized pet portrait painted. I thought, “How lovely would that be!?”¬†But I couldn’t swing the $300 asking price.

After having done so many painting classes, I wondered if any of them offered those to paint your pet. I knew that my painting would not turn out as nice as one by that talented artist advertising on Etsy; but I did know that I liked the painting classes and it would be a very personal painting to me!

A little over a week later, I found a Groupon for Art and Elixir, a Paint & Sip company I had heard of, but had not yet tried. Before buying the Groupon, I browsed through their calendar to make sure that there was a painting that I wanted to do, on a date that I could do it, at a location that I could make on that given date.

This is what I found…

For this event you will get to paint your OWN pet!
Painting your pet is as easy as 1,2,3. You will supply us with a photo of your Fido, we will sketch him/her onto the canvas for you prior to class, and finally you will paint in your pet with our guidance during class to complete this custom pet portrait. For this event, you must email Terri a photo of your beloved family pet at least 7 days prior to class.

That Law of Attraction in action!

A&E

Seeing that there were only a few seats left, I purchased the $17 – YES, $17! – Groupon right away and signed up for the class. The class is considered a “premium” one since not everyone is doing the same photo, so I paid the extra $10 to upgrade. Then, I thought…

“Which dog would I choose to paint?”

So I told Rob about the class, thinking I could paint Sophie and he could paint Shamrock. By then, Groupons were sold out. I didn’t care. I signed him up for the class regardless!

Here are the photos we chose to paint:

The event took place at the Gold Nugget Tavern in Minnetonka. We arrived early to have some dinner before making our way to the event room. {Restaurant Impression to come next week!}

When we walked in, we were given our canvases that had sketches of our dogs based on the photos we emailed, as well as a print-out of the photo.

We were also given the paint that we each would need to paint our specific pets:

We looked at the sample finished pet portraits:

A&E Samples

We also decided on our background colors and were given some extra paint for that.

That’s when the canvas on the left became the canvas on the right:

It was then that I wondered if my Sophie’s portrait would make her look like she had only one leg! I inquired about this and one of the artists that was assisting everyone, put an outline of the leather jacket from her Sophie Fonzarelli photo on to my canvas. It was a very personalized class because we were all doing different paintings! However, there is no way that I was talented enough to make it look like a jacket, so I figured it could at least look like a blanket or something covering her other leg.

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And here is the rest of the Sophie Jean artwork process…

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And here’s Shamrock in progress:

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And our finished masterpieces!

Sham&Soph

I’ll be honest and say we weren’t happy with the work throughout the process, but when we took a step back from looking at our paintings up close, we have to give ourselves some credit. We only started painting a few months ago!

Next time, I want our dogs to do the painting… like this Jackson Paw-lock.

Have you ever had a professional portrait done of yourself, your family or your pet?

What about a self-portrait or self-painted portrait of someone you love?

Cheers~
Carrie

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.

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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!

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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!

SAB

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

It Feels Like Vacation…

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You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been participating in the Food & Fitness linkup the last couple of weeks. That’s because we haven’t been home!

Well, actually, we are at home.

We aren’t on vacation, but it feels like we are on vacation. {Well, except for going to work 7:30am – 4pm weekdays.}

People, we have been out every night for the last week and a half. But I’m not complaining! I was looking back this weekend, wondering how I could get a hold of this runaway season and realized that this feels sort of like vacation. We are going out to dinner, meeting friends {old and new} and discovering new parts of our cities.

Instead of being stressed about when I’ll get those holiday cards out {sometime this week} and when I’ll finish Christmas shopping {almost done}, I’ve decided to embrace and relish in every moment I have with all of these friends we’ve made time to see. That’s the reason we planned it, isn’t it?! ‘Tis the season to be grateful for all of those important people in our lives.

In the past week, I have:

And it isn’t ending. My husband and I have something planned every night up until we leave for Green Bay for Christmas. And then I have planned to meet up with long {but not lost!} friends and family while we are there.

And I’m very happy about it!

Unfortunately, I haven’t been getting any fitness into my routine. Surely, there is no excuse. But I’m grateful that it’s making me realize that I need to make it a priority once “vacation” is over.

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Because I won’t be home even one night this week, I made lunches on Sunday and plans for potential breakfasts throughout the week:

  • Breakfasts: PB Toast OR granola with milk OR protein bar OR scrambled eggs with spinach
  • Lunch: Every lunch this week will consist of: cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, two halos, applesauce and a piece of dark chocolate
  • Dinner: This means that at dinner, my plan is to get in as many veggies as possible.

What do you slow down to embrace and enjoy the holiday season?

Cheers~
Carrie