Friday, December 6, 2013

Wine and Canvas

You guys know my friend, Ginny. I talk about her here all the time. Probably a year ago, Ginny told me that she was going to a Wine and Canvas event. When she first started talking about it, I was imagining it was an art gallery opening. At first, I'm thinking "Where did you find an art gallery??" and then I'm like "Oh man, that sounds like torture." It's not that I don't like art, I certainly do. But milling around a fancy party trying to take in the art and impress other people? Not gonna happen. 

Then Ginny explained what it actually is - and I knew right away that I wanted to do it! Wine and Canvas events allow you to spend an evening at a restaurant making a painting. They release a calendar on the 20th of each month letting you know what the choices are for the following month. You can look it over and decide which painting you want to do, or select a location that's convenient for you and then sign right up. You arrive and they hand you a blank canvas and a menu (though eating and drinking are optional) and then away you go! An artist instructs you on how to make the painting and they provide the brushes and paints. I'd never have believed it if I hadn't gone - all the paintings look a little bit different, but they all look pretty darn good! 

Ginny and I decided that October was going to be the month. We selected a painting of Lake of the Isles, a Minneapolis landmark, which was going to be at Jake's in Eagan - a restaurant we're both very familiar with, which is not far from Ginny's home and sort of on my way home from work. 

Here's the finished product! I don't know how to paint at all, but I don't think you can tell that from this project. 

Here's some detail of the brushstrokes that make up the blades of grass. The closer you get the sloppier it looks, but wouldn't that be true of Monet, too? I actually really enjoyed painting the blades of grass, which even I think is kind of weird. 

I was having some trouble getting the bridge to turn out correctly - as I was painting the water, it seemed like the bridge was disappearing. The artist came by and spent about 30 seconds with me - she explained what my issue was and how to make it better - and before she walked away, she'd done two quick strokes and it was totally fixed! 

At the end of the class, the acrylic paint we'd used was already basically dry. I took it home and hung it right up on the wall in my bedroom. Now, this painting is one of the first things I see each morning when I wake up! 

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