Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sip ‘n Paint

It is my belief that everyone has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.  One of my biggest weaknesses is the inability to draw, paint, or create any work of art more elaborate than a stick figure.    My illustrations have provided much comic relief for many students. 

109 Eyed Monster.  Artist: A. Wilcox  Medium: Dry Erase Marker on Whiteboard

Nonetheless, I have seen many pictures of friends emerging from venues like Bottles and Brushes with beautiful works of art and frequently thought, “How hard can it be to complete something like this?  Everyone’s paintings look so nice!  I bet I could do that!”  So when one of my friends decided to organize a trip to Sip ‘n Paint, a local painting studio/sippery, I was a little too eager to give it a shot. 

Sip 'N Paint has a Yongkang Lu address, but is located in the residential area behind the restaurants.

Unlike many similar venues that I have seen where everyone paints the same picture, Sip ‘n Paint encourages you bring in a personal picture to paint, or you can find inspiration from one of their samples.  I saw a beautiful picture of a Shanghai girl that I wanted to paint on their website. 

This wouldn't be too difficult.  Especially if it was a paint by number deal... Source: Sip 'n Paint Website

I timidly asked the instructor,
“How difficult would that be to paint?”  I figured it would be a breeze. 
“How much art experience do you have?”  She asked. I do have that amazing stick figure collection.

“Um not too much.  Let’s put it this way, if they had a ‘special class’ for kids who couldn’t paint, I would have been placed in it.”  I replied.

“Then maybe you should try something a little easier.”  Luckily I brought my iPad that had a picture of some plumeria from my recent trip to Sanya. 

“I don’t think that would be too difficult.”  She encouraged.

Before we started, we had some fun hamming it up for the camera.

Having some fun with a little 'stache action.

I could at least pretend to be an artist!

It was time to get down to business.  A blank canvas stared right at me.  I panicked and raised my hand.  The instructor  came to my canvas. 

“How do I start?”  I asked.
“You start by tracing the picture on the canvas.”  He replied.  How in the world was I supposed to draw this flower?  I have NO natural art ability.
“Um, can you draw it for me?” 
“I won’t draw it for you, but I can get you started.” He drew an arch that was supposed to be a stem and demonstrated how to draw the perfect petal.   He then handed me the pencil, and I made a feeble attempt to copy his technique.  His flower was beautiful and flowing, my flower looked like one of my first grader’s works of art.
 “Um I need help.”  I said again.  I hated the problem student, but I wanted to leave with something that looked somewhat like a flower.

 After multiple demonstrations and corrections, I was ready to paint.  After I painted the background a jade-ish black color, it was time to paint the flowers.  The instructor modeled how to combine the different paints so each petal had the perfect shading.  I tried to imitate his technique, but my flower looked like a fried egg.  

Our painting instructors give my friend Mandy a hand.

“Um…I need help.  What do I do next?” 
“You need to add some leaves.  This is the fun part.” He replied
He was right.  Adding leaves was the fun part.  I mastered the basic shape, and went to town putting the final touches my masterpiece. 

Chris works on his temple painting.

Jim a great job painting his Pearl Tower at Night.

I wish I had Anne's talent!

Jo puts the final touches on her sunset.
I finally finished my painting.

This was my photograph.

The second flower from the left was my fried egg flower.
I carefully remove my painting from the easel. 
“It didn’t turn out as bad as I anticipated. “  I commented to my painting sinsei.
“Yeah, I was worried at first about your lack of passion.”  He stated.

Lack of passion?  Lack of passion?  How could he say that I lacked passion?  I was worried about my lack of ability, and wanted to emerge with a painting that didn’t look like breakfast.  How could that be translated into lack of passion?

This painting screams passion!!  Or at least it screams...
After we were all finished with our paintings, we took a group shot. 

We did it!!
Overall, the Sip 'n Paint experience was a lot of fun, and one that I will do again. 

If you are interested in Sip n Paint, go to their website http://sip-n-paint.com.  I highly suggest getting a group of friends together and making a party of it!  Have fun painting!