When my new mommy friends suggested Paint Lounge for a night out, my first thought was, “Ugh…seriously? What’s wrong with dinner and idle chit-chat? We’re so good at that.” 🙂 Then as the day approached, I started to get a bit nervous because in my heart of hearts, I knew I didn’t have a Picasso in me while they were quite artistic (one is an art teacher, ’nuff said). My photo books are memorable, my cards are cute, and my scrapbook is great, but all involve technology (thanks, Shutterfly and Cricut). This would be purely ME and a brush and it’s been years since I’ve had to paint anything (painting a colour wheel for my students doesn’t count).
However, the staff at Paint Lounge Markham were warm and friendly from the moment I stepped inside and ordered a chai latte. We grabbed four comfy stools and sat closest to the demo area unbeknownst to us (half of us are teachers so subconsciously we must’ve had a desire to be with the instructor). She walked us through how to get our palettes and paints and proceeded to show us how to do the background for “Cherry Blossoms.”
During the lesson, we were instructed to blend, encouraged to go with it, and learned some tricks of the trade. Music played softly in the background and we were able to carry on a conversation while our inner artists came through (mine struggled). Three hours later, we walked out with pieces we were pretty happy with. As the evening went on, I began to get more involved and worried less about what it should look like and what I wanted mine to look like. I started to feel what my students must feel when I say, “It’s art. There is no right way.” It became more about self-expression than a rigid art lesson.
It was a brand-new experience for me and I really enjoyed it. In education, teachers are highly encouraged to be life-long learners. We teach our students to think positive and have faith in themselves. We want them to try new things and take a chance. I’m happy to say that I did it and would do it again.