Sunday, July 12, 2015

Canvas for a Cause

Intimidation personified

To the best of my recollection, the last time I picked up a paintbrush to do anything other than slap some paint on a piece of furniture was when I was in elementary school.  And so it was with great trepidation that I signed up to paint at Canvas for a Cause, a collaborative fundraiser between the Visual Arts Center and AMIKids/Crossroads.  Seriously, is there anything more intimidating than a white canvas that you're expected to fill?

Bev with her painting

The wanna-be artists were set up in the VAC's galleries and led through the process by instructors Beverly Yankwitt and Kathleen Kelly.  Knowing that Bev is primarily an abstract painter, I pulled a few strings and got my group assigned to her room.  I figured the less representational my work had to be, the better.  (This is not meant to demean in any way the beauty and power of abstract art.  As Bev noted in her preamble to the evening, it is actually more important for abstract art to follow the principles of design.  There is, however, less drawing involved.)

With our "palettes" (okay, plastic plates) readied with red, white and blue paint, Bev told us to start from the top with the blue.  From there, it was a free for all.  It seemed I barely had any paint on my canvas before she said we should move on to the red.  What???!!!  It's possible I was spending too much time enjoying the yummy food (made by Event Elements), but I suspect that my desire to get it "right" was more to blame.  (Note: Check out how much work Jane Patton--in the row behind us--has done on her painting. Of course, she's a real artist, but still.)

Time flew, and I amazingly didn't even notice the spectators who were watching our flags unfurl on our canvases.  I particularly enjoyed tapping the paintbrush against my finger to get the white specks (stars?) on the painting. Of course, I had anticipated carefully placing each little speck of paint on the canvas with one of the smaller brushes.  Can you say "type A personality"??? 

Most people had finished up and moved on to socializing by the time Janice, Kathy and I were ready to declare our works done.  And while I certainly didn't miss my calling, I have overcome my fear of participating in a paint party. And who knows?  Maybe I'll even get myself to one of the monthly Corks 'n' Canvas nights at the Visual Arts Center.  Good, bad or indifferent, there is something magical about the creative process. 

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