Tuesday, November 7, 2017

#445 Attend A One Night Art Class

As part of the fun filled weekend of April 22nd and 23rd, 2017, my mother, daughter, sisters and my sista from another mista Becky, were registered to take an art class at The Next Picasso. The class we chose was a wooden sign project with our family name stenciled on it. We had seen these beautiful signs on the Next Picasso's website and loved them. They were so cool. I could not wait to make one for myself. "Paint and Sips" are "Basically" always a good time!

In case I lost you, allow me to explain.

"Paint and Sips" have become part of the "Basic" culture. "Basic" culture is comprised of mass trends mostly committed by women and include heavy hitters such as Ugg boots, leggings, pumpkin flavored products, yoga, yoga pants, wine, wine tastings, wineries, (anything concerning bottled grapes really), salads, wraps, Starbucks, Lu LaRoe clothing, Ulta, Coach products, Michael Kors products, Alex and Ani bracelets, scarves, headbands, Zumba classes, Bath and Body Works stuff and shady taco trucks. ( Well, that last one is questionable but I think it is way cool and fun.)

And guess what?? I loooooooooooove being a Basic Bitch! I am completely comfortable with my basic side because it balances my quirky, off the wall side pretty well. And let's be honest, most of the stuff I mentioned above is awesome, cool and fun. Most. Not all of them but most of them. I am not here to judge though. If something makes a person's life more happy, is a non jailable offense and isn't hurting anyone in the process, then by all means, they should enjoy it.

And the trend that is "Paint and Sip" is a fun one. Most of these events are geared towards an art project such as painting a picture, wine glass or sign. Wine, spirits, beverages and food are welcomed to these events. The attendees of the class all paint the same picture. The teacher walks everyone through painting the picture step by step. You honestly do not have to be a good artist to create a work of art because the canvas usually has the design traced on it by the teacher. The teacher also explains what brush to use and what order to apply each paint color.

My first Paint and Sip. Loved it!
I have been to three of these events. I made a Christmas tree painting with my friend Mare. I now want to make a tree painting for each season. For Becky's birthday a few years back, we had a girls night out where we painted a picture of coffee cups. I gave that picture to my parents because they love coffee and the colors went perfect with their decor. For this Blog, I will talk about my sign painting experience. I will also have some tips for the first timers out there.

We headed to a beautiful barn in Drums for our class. This was the home of the Next Picasso. Some "Paint and Sip" venues are held in community centers, bars and restaurants. Some venues are actual "Paint and Sip" businesses. This was an actual business. Our instructor was really sweet and a lot of fun. She greeted us warmly, gave us our boards and stencils then brought us upstairs to the classroom. She directed us to chose a table and stated we could put our food and beverages in the little kitchen area across from the classroom.

Immediately, I fell in love with this barn. We all did. The decor and ambiance was serene and bucolic. I so much wanted to move in and call it home. I snapped a few pictures of the decor then brought the chicken and waffle sandwiches and Bloody Mary mix I made over to the kitchen area. I decided to make Bloody Marys for this event rather than bring wine because wine just disagrees with me anymore. It sucks but perhaps it is a good thing too. Okay, I'm lying. I did bring wine but I brought it for my sisters. Becks and I helped ourselves to delicious Bloody Marys.

My sister Alicia shocked us all when she pulled out a flask. She does not drink very much so I thought maybe it was filled with water. She offered me a sip. Yep! Definitely not water. Definitely bourbon. I beamed at my sister with pride. I also took a few more swigs from her flask because I do love me some bourbon. Pace yourself Chrissy. You paid to make a beautiful sign. Let's not change this into a fingerpainted nightmare that even a two year old would laugh at because you drank too much of everything.

Bloody Mary's on Sunday, cuz it's a funday!

Getting ready to paint some signs and sip some wines.

The "Cleaner" and her flask of bourbon.
As I started hammering my second Bloody Mary, Becky gave my family members, whom were new to this experience, some very sage advice.  Here are some tips if you are thinking about partaking in a "Paint and Sip".

1. Keep you paintbrush water cup and your drinking vessel as far apart from each other as humanly possible.
2. Pace yourself with the "sipping". It impairs your judgement.
3. If you accidentally do not follow the first two sips, I mean steps, and take a big ol drunken swig of your muddy paint water, try not to spit it out all over the place. But, do not swallow it either.

So yea, we learned this valuable wisdom at Becky's "Paint and Sip" a few years back when a very inebriated blonde woman was not paying attention to cup placement and chugged her paint brush water. As soon as the gulp resonated in my mouth it took everything in my power not to spew it out all over poor Caryn and Meghan, whom were seated next to me. The taste of mud and chemicals permeated my mouth as the horrible water started flooding my nostrils.

As lady like as I possibly could, I spit the water back into my cup, and down my arm, and all over my shirt, and on the floor. Did I say lady like? Oh, that's funny. I then had to use half a roll of paper towels to sop up the mess my acrylic laced DNA created. The rest of the night, everything tasted like chemicals. And for those of you wondering, yes, I did get sick from this unfortunate incident. I was nauseous for the remainder of the evening and had to call it an early night. Booze and acrylic paint do not make for an enjoyable combo in one's stomach.

So, if there is one piece of advice you should heed, that would be it.

My Coffee Creation and yea....not sure you are supposed to use those kind of brushes to paint your face. Although they would probably be a great base coat brush for shadows. 

I loved my sign so much!!! 
Now, back to the painting class. We were making wooden plaques with a name of our choice. I chose my maiden name and "Est. 1973" because that is the year I became a DeCosmo. Mostly I became a DeCosmo because that was the year I was born and DeCosmo is my dad's last name. My daughter and my sister Alicia chose their first name for their sign. Becky chose her last name. My mom and sister Steph chose "The "Married Name" Family" for their signs. Their established date was the date they were married.

I must say, our group had a nice variety of signage ideas.

We used our stencils in steps since some layering would be involved. We started with the big letter first. The big letter was the beginning letter in either the first or last name you were using. Mine was a "D" for "DeCosmo". We used modge podge as a base before we painted to prevent the acryllics from seeping under the stencil. It worked great. If any paint did seep, you were able to use Q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the blemishes from the stained boards or, really fine tipped paint brushes dipped in white paint to cover any flaws on the white boards.

Good times with the family! this was such a great day! 

We all had to practice a little patience waiting for the modge podge then, the paint to dry before gently peeling off each stencil. None of us really minded though because we were having a great time chatting and checking out everyone else's boards. It was really neat to see everyone's choice of color combinations for their wooden signs. No two were the same. All were very beautiful and reflected the artists' personalities perfectly. I can honestly say every single sign came out so pretty.

Our instructor was very patient and very helpful. However, as the class progressed, she may not have been the only one working the room. Perhaps while our instructor was helping some of the students attach picture wire to the back of their signs, a certain someone may have taken over the easel and was assisting other class members with antiquing their paintings using a stained wax. And perhaps another student decided to clean and organize the entire room while the instructor was taking pictures of our artwork.

Heather is already an artist so she was very particular about her work. We also had a new instructor in our class. She can't help it. Becky is a natural leader and teacher. 

Neither one of these students were me. I just made sure the Bloody Mary Mix was drunk because we don't waste alcohol. I am also happy to report that I did not drink any paint water this time. Instead, I spilled it all over the table. I may have spilled some paint too. And, I may have put a paint brush in my Bloody Mary cup. No worries though because I brought extra cups. I think I did pretty good this time.

Fits in perfectly with my woodland cabin meets beach cottage style! 

Anyways, I highly recommend taking a one night art class. They are such a blast and you get to walk out with your own work of art, created by you, for you. Who wouldn't enjoy that!


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