A few weeks ago, my roommate told me about something she went to, a painting session at a local “paint bar”. I had no idea what this was, so I looked into it; it’s a studio, where you and 40 or so other people sit around, and paint. Everyone is doing the same painting and the instructor walks you through all of the steps. And in order to appeal to the older members of the audience, most of these places also sell alcohol that you drink while painting.
I haven’t painted in a long time, and I wanted to do something completely different, so I signed up for a class here in Boston.
It was awesome.
So if you’ve been to Boston, you’ll know that the streets are all super quaint, especially some of the more famous ones like, Newbury Street. That’s where the Paint Bar is located. I walk into the studio and it’s super cute, a bit tight, but overall a really chill atmosphere. I check in and the instructor shows me to my seat; I’m sitting right in the front, which I am SO happy about because now I can actually see the instructors canvas. I get all of my paint, put on my smock, and sit tight until the class starts.
And then it begins.
The painting that I signed up for is called “Make Way for Ducklings”, which is based on the statue in the Boston Public Gardens, which is based on the popular children’s book by Robert McCloskey of the same name.
We start and work through the painting slowly, first outlining the landscape, then filling in the sky, grass, and sidewalk. We cover the entire canvas in paint and I look at my watch and an hour has passed. The instructor tells us that we’re 80% done; we all give him sceptical looks but are happy to take a 15 minute dry break. To help the paintings dry we hang them upside down on our easel.
When we come back we start working on the high point of the painting, the ducks themselves. First we make the Mamma duck, followed by her eight ducklings. I realized halfway through making the ducklings that I was making them a little bit too big, so I had to be careful with size for my last few baby ducks. We also filled in the leaves on the trees, and if I was honest, I think the leaves are my favorite part of my painting.
It was finally time to outline. I not-so-carefully took my “baby brush” and outlined my ducks, buildings, and streets. I am extremely pleased with the outcome of my work. I haven’t painted or really been artistic in a very long time, and it was nice to tap into this different part of my brain, and really use my creative cells. I was also put out of my comfort zone because I went by myself, but I am so happy that I did this and I can’t wait to go back and do another painting.
I guess if there was a moral to this story it would be don’t be afraid to do something different, and it is very much OK to do something by yourself. Not only will you feel more independent but you’ll also feel equally accomplished that you stepped out of your comfort zone without a safety blanket, even if it was a very small step.
So check out your local paint bar, I’m sure that you’ll find something that you want to do, and even though I just said it’s ok to go alone, definitely bring your friends along, they’ll appreciate it.
Oh, by the way, here is my finished painting, I hope you enjoy it!