A girls only art party? I’m in! Thursday night was “ladies night” at a new art studio in the area. Fortunately, I have a friend who is an amazing planner and therefore, gets us to do random things- because it would not have been me to set this up. I’m more of a last minute, fly by the seat of my pants (resulting in everyone doing nothing) sort of person. Five of us headed over for a night of quality time, snacks, and vino.
If you read about the art class I took this summer then you already know of my artistic apprehensions. I love any artistic expression, but it is nerve racking! When I paint, I tend to over think the whole process… What if I make a mistake?! The rational person in me says, exactly, so what, who cares. The real me is a control freak- ugh. So, last night I was forced to face my inner perfectionist demon once again.
The project we were working on was a self portrait- How many self portraits can I make? John is already freaked out by my other one… (see here) We were told to bring a black and white image and any other materials we wanted to use. I printed out the boardwalk photo seen here and rushed out of my apartment grabbing a magazine and photo booth picture of me and John from the fridge. Always prepared.
Thankfully this place is more prepared than my crew- they had maps, magazines, music sheets, old books, sewing material, you name it…you could use it. We could glue, paint, sew, get wild all over our art. All of these choices became my challenge. I deliberated over what materials to use, what medium to use, what picture to use, should it be horizontal or vertical? My friends on the other hand were fabulous and amazing and just going for it. Oh, to be neurotic. Finally, I made peace with my decisions, held my breath, and went at it.
Once I let go it was amazing. I’ve said it before, but painting is therapy.
I’m pretty sure I lost a solid two hours of my life from zoning out… I don’t even know what happened.
When I came to my senses I had included anything I would want in a “self-portrait.” the color blue, water, a changing sky, love, summer, whispy, musical, slightly macabre (that may be a dead bird…), it’s me.
As I looked around the art studio I noticed many works that have been created by children. They are fearless, their brush strokes are uninhibited, their color choices are non-sensical. Their work is beutiful. When do we lose our daring artistic sides? Picasso once said,
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
My friends and I spent the night laughing at our work- Beth joked that there was a nice spot for her art in the garage. What are we even creating? On the car ride home Jess and I discussed art. Who determines what beauty is, and what is and is not art. One time John and I went to the Met to see the Matisse exhibit- John looked at me and said, THIS is art? I’ve seen 8th graders create better stuff than this guy. But that’s what I adore about Matisse- he challenged what was acceptable and typical.
I guess what I’m trying to say is- I had a blast. Whatever I did create, I did it next to my favorite people. I had an amazing night. I blew off some steam. I expressed myself. I felt good. I want to remain an artist as I grow up- I’m not ready to lose that piece of me yet, or ever. We all have that in us- remember when you were a kid and you never challenged yourself or your talents? You just painted- with your hands, and your fingers, and you made a mess, and you had fun.