Paint Along Class

Yesterday I trotted into a painting class. It is actually something I have wanted to do for quite some time. When I was in university I took two semester of art which were core subjects for training teachers. Even though the art lecturer was somewhat crazy, I quite enjoyed learning some limited artistic techniques. (Lino print and paper mache come to mind!) It occurred to me that with a good teacher, most things can be taught, even if one does not have natural talent.

I have no delusions of becoming a world renewed painter, but I do enjoy manipulating a paint brush, but at this stage just don’t have the ability to transfer the pictures in my head onto paper or canvas. That is why I was excited to hear that an art studio nearby, Shiny Happy Art, did Paint Along classes. (Mum thinks it was funny that my Happy Heart went to Happy Art!) I figured that if I could watch and follow someone else I might have a good chance of having something I could hang with pride on my wall at the end of the day.

I must say, after I walked through the red doors of that studio, donned an apron and the painting began,

I had some moments of panic. Anna Bartlett, the artist and teacher for the morning, had warned that it would be a busy morning and if we were going to get the painting done in 3 or 4 hours, we would need to keep up. But gosh, once she started I had that sinking feeling, (that I often get when I’m doing something new), that I was going to crash and burn and end up wasting my money.

We started by doing the initial outline and plan with chalk on the canvas.That is the moment that I most felt out of control. Right at the start I could see that I hadn’t done my bridge properly, which was no surprise. I may not be able to paint, but I’ve done simple pictures of the bridge and waterlillies with years 1-3 students back when I was teaching. I always found drawing the bridge difficult. Sure enough, by the end the wonky bridge was very annoying. Thankfully with a few brush strokes of magical help from Anna it ended up OK.

There I am getting some much needed help from Anna. (Photo from the Shiny Happy Heart Facebook page.) 

That was probably the hardest bit and beginning to put the paint on. I was struggling to keep up and missing things. After that, I got a bit more used to the pace, although I was constantly finding things I had forgotten the whole way through! Funnily, at one point Anna commented that I looked so worried. Although there were many moments I was worried, at that particular moment, I wasn’t thinking about the painting. I had picked my phone up to take a quick photo. (Typical blogger Instagram addiction) As I turned my phone on, a message popped up from a friend that bulk spam was spewing out of my twitter account. So the perplexed look was actually wondering how I had got hacked. Sorry if I hit you, I think it’s all sorted out now!  (Another friend notified me that I sent her a bizarre message using abbreviated expletives! Let me assure you, that is not the way I communicate!)

Sneaky Instagram during art class!

All in all, it really was a fabulous morning, and despite feeling out of my depth quite a few times, I did get there in the end. Even though I think it looks like my pond is a bit like a stream with cotton wool balls all over it! Still it’s hanging in my dining room, and I’m quite proud to have my own art work on the wall.

I did that!

Anna Bartlett really was lovely. She was doing the same painting at the front and giving very clear and precise instructions on what to do at every step, even down to when to dip the brush in water and when to combine the colours to make shades and tints. Exactly what a total newbie such as myself needed! She was also very helpful at giving feedback, and very calm at helping work out a solution to little errors. (Like broken bridges.) I actually really look forward to doing another paint along class some time in the future. There were lots of other pictures that Anna does Paint Alongs for, and there are a few I’m hoping to get a chance to do!  It’s such good value. You pay not only for the teaching in the lesson, but also the canvas and paints are provided, the cleaning up is done for you and at the end of the day you have some artwork to hang on your wall!

Watching and following Anna.

To finish, here is a picture that Anna took, (also on her Facebook page currently.) at the end. Don’t you love it how everyone’s looks different even though they are all similar? It really was the perfect morning doing something for myself after The Accountant being out of town for 3 nights and 4 days and me doing the solo Mum with the five kids during that time. (Side note: Hats off to you single Mums. You are amazing!) So being outside my comfort zone but exercising some creativity was really nice, in fact, it’s good for your soul.

Have you ever done art classes? Have you done something recently that was outside your comfort zone or learned a new skill?
**This post is not sponsored. I just a delightful time, so wanted to recommend painting classes, and if you are in my local area, you know where you can go now!

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