Day 81: Paint a Chair

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All these firsts I’m doing have ignited my creative side. I’m thrilled to discover there are many opportunities in Joplin to develop and express my creativity. Today’s first was so much fun! I painted a chair.

A group of us gathered this morning at Local Color Art Gallery & Studio in downtown Joplin. Artist and instructor Tricia Courtney had old school chairs, from the 1930’s or 40’s, primed and ready for us. I haven’t painted anything, other than interior walls in a house, in a long time. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just knew this looked like a fun project and the sample painted chair that Tricia had created was so appealing.

I paired up with another guest, Nina, pulled on an oversized T-Shirt and faced my selected chair. We started by applying a base coat all over the chair. Nina and I both chose black for the “pop” factor. Then came the fun part. Using bottles of Apple Barrel acrylic paint, Tricia demonstrated how to use the paint straight from the bottle to paint. No brushes needed! And no particular skill. Just the desire to create. The paint was applied thickly, in whatever shape or design the artist chose, and the movement and flow of the paint created the dynamic art. I was drawn to form flowers of yellow, turquoise, pink and purple and stems and leaves of varying shades of green.

I mumbled to myself a couple of times, “There are no mistakes….” and squeezed out a blob of yellow for my first flower. Tricia circled the room, offering encouragement and occasionally grabbing a bottle of paint and assisting with technique. The room filled with happy chatter and admiration for each other’s work as amazing, colorful art appeared on chairs. Our hands and shirts got paint on them and I laughed as a drop of paint splattered onto my face. This was so freeing and relaxing, going with the flow, literally, and getting messy as we worked.

At the end of our session, we all had lovely, personal, works of art. And I had made a new friend! Nina and I will return to complete the backs of our chairs after the seats thoroughly dry. And then I can bring my painted chair home. I’m already eyeing furniture and old doors at home and wondering what I can use this technique on next! For a fun way to let your artistic side shine, check out the many classes offered at Local Color Art Gallery.

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Nina and her lovely chair

Day 58: Visit Local Color Art Gallery & Studio

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What a delight today’s first was! I’ve known about Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, located in the Gryphon Building in downtown Joplin. I even had it on my list of firsts as a place to visit. So I love the way events arranged themselves so that I made it my first for today.

After I viewed the deeply moving Angels for Joplin exhibit at the Joplin Library I searched on Facebook to see if I could locate the artist. I found her. And realized she was connected to Local Color Art Gallery & Studio. She most graciously invited me to visit at a time when she would be there and today, that happened.

It was such a pleasure to meet Tricia Courtney in person. She is as creative and warm and compassionate as her angel sculptures indicated she would be! We had a great conversation and then I strolled through the gallery.

What a beautiful, magical place. The space is open and lit by an abundance of natural light streaming through the many windows. It is imbued with a sense of purpose and creativity, making it the perfect backdrop for the 16 local artists who sell their work there. Hand crafted pottery, paintings, sculptures, furniture and wearable art are skillfully displayed throughout the gallery. I was amazed at the variety of art styles and pieces.

Tricia was present to answer my questions and introduced me to one of the artists, Percilla Penner. I admired the painting she was working on and enjoyed chatting with her also. Percilla and Tricia both teach at the gallery, offering fun classes for adults and children. Budding artists are encouraged to create their own masterpieces and show them off.

I left Local Color Art Gallery & Studio feeling inspired. I will be a frequent visitor, to browse and to shop. And I look forward to attending many art classes there and allowing my creativity to blossom. What a fun way to bring more firsts into my life.