Day 101: Paint at RSVPaint

Image

I’m loving all the opportunities for creative expression that I’m discovering in Joplin. Tonight, my mom, sister Linda and I painted together at RSVPaint, located at 420 S. Main Street. Linda and I visited this place during Third Thursday last month and signed up for a class. Mom decided to join us and I’m so glad she did.

RSVPaint started in Springfield, MO, and offers a place for budding or experienced artists to relax, sip, visit and paint. In two hours, one can create a work of art to take home. A glass of wine is offered beforehand, to remove all fear and inhibitions! Encouraged by their success in Springfield, RSVPaint branched out to Joplin and has been open here for a month. Classes are offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. A nominal fee covers the class, all supplies and materials, and a glass of wine.

We had such a relaxing and enjoyable evening. Our instructor, Coleman, was fun, engaging and a great teacher. He painted with us, staying a step ahead of us so we could follow along. Tonight’s painting was “Cherry Blossoms”. Six of us sat in front of our easels with blank canvases ready for our artistic touch. I have to admit, the glass of wine did do a great job of relaxing everyone! Conversation flowed easily among us and laughter rang out often. There is something about a fresh, blank canvas that invites creativity and gets ideas flowing. That sense of flow and energy is transmitted to the brush as soon as I pick it up.

Coleman made painting easy. He was patient and offered help when we needed it. I liked that we had a sample painting to look at, and could watch him as he created the painting with us. He also encouraged us to express ourselves and use different colors for the background if we wanted. Half of us did so. Although we all admired each other’s work, no one compared one piece of art to another. This was a very supportive environment to express ourselves in.

At the end of two hours, we all had a completed painting to take home and a great shared experience. We had so much fun chatting and creating and getting to know Coleman and each other. There are upcoming classes that will provide opportunities for more fun and more creative expression. We intend to participate again and allow our inner artists out more often!

Image

Day 98: Create a Spring Vignette

Image

I often relax, and have precious “me” time, by being creative. I love bringing an idea into reality by assembling items and grouping them together in a way that is pleasing to me. For today’s first, I created a new spring vignette for my dining room table.

Spring is here in Joplin, MO. The days are longer, and warmer, and signs of new life are appearing everywhere. I am itching to begin planting flowers, shrubs and grasses in the backyard. Transformation is underway as a courtyard is being installed and pathways laid out. Yet it’s a bit too cool still at night to plant.

So today I brought spring indoors. This was a fun project. All the items in this grouping are flea market, thrift store or vintage shop finds, with the exception of the white birds, speckled eggs and the plants. There serving as a basket to hold it all is the vintage sifter that I bought over the weekend at Country Pickins Antique Mall. I love how this piece is the foundation for the vignette. I’ll be using the sifter again and again, throughout the year.

The white teacups and the white footed bowl came from Goodwill. As soon as I saw the footed bowl, I envisioned speckled eggs nestled within it. I found the eggs on sale at Hobby Lobby today. I was hunting for pretty white teacups Sunday, while we were junkin’, because I already had the idea of planting tiny pansies and impatiens in them. I loved these cups because they are nice and wide and have a lovely shape. The willow ball topiary also came from Goodwill. It was adorned with red berries when I bought it. I liked the green pot it was in and the general shape. It was easy to remove the worn berries and freshen the topiary with green ivy.

I bought the rectangular glass vase at Goodwill. For the spring vignette, I wanted fresh tulips. Walmart had a great selection today at a great price. I was hoping for a peachy pink color but I’m happy with the deep pink and white. The white birds were picked up at Michael’s for 50% off. Birds, freed from their cages, are my symbol this year. It seemed appropriate to include a pair.

I am very happy with the way the grouping turned out! It makes me smile every time I look at it. As spring wanes and summer arrives, I’ll change it all again. For me, that will be another therapeutic and happy hour well spent!

Day 85: Watercolor Class

Image

This week seems to be all about expressing creativity! It’s amazing how artistic opportunities have lined up within a few days of each other. Today’s first was a watercolor class at Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, located in downtown Joplin in the Gryphon Building.

My friend Catherine joined me for an artsy afternoon. We met instructor Paula Giltner and fellow artists Barbara, Van and Roger. Everyone was working at different levels of ability, and that was perfect! Neither Catherine nor I had ever had a formal watercolor lesson. She has dabbled in watercolor in the past and I haven’t painted since I was in high school art class. I can tell you, that’s been a while! My art teacher, Mr. Craven, would be proud that I was making the attempt again.

Paula, whose art work is available for purchase in the gallery, was great to show us what materials and tools she uses. And then we began. She demonstrated technique and we watched attentively as she created a simple landscape with mountains and trees. As Catherine and I taped watercolor paper to the table, a few facts from high school class came back to me, such as the need to brush water on the paper first. Paula had some great tips for mixing paint and using a metal burner cover, turned upside down, as a palette to keep water and paints handy.

We had a great afternoon. Catherine and I laughed and talked as we painted. We had already decided that today was about having fun, not creating a masterpiece.  We played with hues and which brushes to use and had a wonderful experience. Paula checked on us often and offered suggestions. My paper was a little too wet and should have dried longer before I added the second mountain range, but for time’s sake, I proceeded. When the paper is very damp, it creates a soft, blurred edge, rather than a defined edge. I jokingly said a mist was settling on the tops of my mountain range. We added trees in the foreground and declared our work good!

I really appreciate Local Color Art Gallery & Studio for making these classes available. I intend to explore all the options there, enjoy expanding my talents and have fun at the same time. It’s wonderful to meet new friends and deepen friendships while sharing brushes and paints. Shared joy is multiplied. There was much joy during this class.

Image

 

Catherine creating

Image

Instructor Paula Giltner

Day 81: Paint a Chair

Image

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.

Image

Nina and her lovely chair