Note: I don’t have names of the people in these photos, but they were having as much fun as we were at the “Wine and Paint” event held on Saturday at the El Fidel Restaurant. Lots of interpretations and lots of laughs.
More years ago than I want to remember I took painting lessons. I gave up because I could tell right away that “great artist” wasn’t something anyone would ever call me. Not even “mediocre artist.” Bob, who was far more talented than me, took lessons as well, back when he was in the Army. He should have stuck with it, but that whole thing of being an optometrist got in the way. He concentrated on his patients and didn’t pick up a paint brush again until recently, when he started taking lessons from gifted artist Duffy Peterson.
So, along comes this thing called “Wine and Paint,” a fund raiser for the Media Arts Club at Highlands. It looked like fun and a neat way to support a worthwhile organization. And it was something we could do together. So we paid the very small fee ($35 per person with all the supplies provided), and entered into “Wine and Paint,” with a boatload of trepidation. Would every one there be a really good artist? How would it work? Would we be the only “mature” (okay, old) people there?
From the minute we arrived our concerns disappeared like a bad painting under a thick coat of gesso.
It was just plain fun. We were the only – ahem – older folks there, but the HU students and one HU prof and his wife made up a congenial group.
We found out pretty quickly the instructions were simple; the application perhaps not so much, but it was fun anyway. We laughed. We complimented each other. We ordered wine and food. We painted. We laughed.
The El Fidel Restaurant staff members were gracious and the food was yummy. Not every one ate. Bob and I had the fondue with bread and apples. It was fantastic! The wine and food where not part of the fee, but all in all, it was an evening of entertainment for very little cost.
We learned two important lessons (or at least I did, Bob probably already knew both): water is your friend, and you write with your wrist, you paint with you elbow. Okay, if you don’t get it, all I can say is you had to be there.
In the end we all came up with a variation on the painting we were recreating, or interpreting. One person who said she didn’t much like cats, painted stylized flowers using the color palette provided. Another did gargoyles.
Bob said his cats looked like they’d been out all night and had a time of it. I said we should title the painting, “We might look like we’ve been in a cat fight, but we won!” I have to say his cats and my cats sort of resemble us. His were thin and scrappy, mine – umm – plump and complacent.
We asked Angela Meron, the instructor and an assistant professor in Media Arts at Highlands, to let us know when the club has another event. We want to be there.
This is not the only paint-a-painting in a single session opportunity in Las Vegas. Melody Perez of Running Horses Studio has a similar program. Paint Out is designed for beginners and first time painters, with full instruction and all materials supplied. To find out more about Melody’s great opportunities check out her website at www.runninghorses.org. We will likely do one of her classes soon.
For us, the main thing is to enjoy life, and this painting thing is one way to do it. Now we have two – hmmm – rather interesting paintings to show for our experience, and you know what? Every time we look at them, we smile.