About a year back, inspired by a groupon plus a major discount code, I started sometimes going to events that are paint nights, held at local bars.
It’s basically someone leading people through attempts to make painting inspired by an original painting… which itself was painted from looking at one on the website.
It’s more about entertainment than art… but its fun.
But, it’s also a bit on the expensive side, even with the discounts.
I started really thinking about what made it any different than anything else.
No matter how many times people told me "oh! I want to go to one of those but can never find anyone to go!", nobody ever actually wanted to go along. So, it’s not the companionship factor.
And, honestly, it wasn’t the skill factor either. Actually, we have a couple of painting for fun with alcohol places in town that I actually don’t go to much just because their paintings look like something that was from an elementary school art class, not even trying to be something you would really want to hang on your wall…. just way too simple to even be of much interest.
I came to realize… that what made the difference… was that I was taking it seriously.
Do I have paints at home that I play with from time to time? Sure.
But, mine are poster paints… my brushes are aimed towards kids… and usually painted on poster board at best.
As much as the focus was entertainment… its completely different when you are using canvas… using decent brushes… bumping up to acrylic paint.
It feels like real art, that has some real weight to it… rather than just playing around.. even when you are in fact just playing around.
And so.. I decided to play around a bit more.
I caught some 8 by 10 canvases on sale that made them about a buck a piece.
I got a still cheap but decent small set of artist quality brushes… and my basic 5 tubes of paint… and a real plastic palate
And a basic little tabletop easel.
I paid less for the whole works than I had for a single night out.
And, I started to paint.
And yeah, I’m still just playing around with them.
But it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to take something seriously and actually put some (even very small) investment in it.
Some of them aren’t things I would hang up… but my bedroom wall has started to collect a row of them that I do like. (Even if I’m overly critical of them.. lol)
And, my daughter has started to become interested as well… and has even actually sold a couple of her paintings to friends for their lockers! (Let’s face it.. some serious artists take quite a while to get that far.. lol)
But I guess its been interesting to just see the difference… because I really wouldn’t have expected it.
I’m the sort that tends more towards jeans and tshirts than dresses and blouses… so, it never really occurred to me that going cheap on supplies was really effecting much.
And, physically, it wouldn’t seem like it would. The difference between poster paints and acrylic paint isn’t all that huge in the grand scheme of things.
(I’m not a big fan of either watercolor or oil at all… and never have been. I hated watercolor even as a kid in school.. but poster paint isn’t super different…)
So I totally missed just how much of a mental game was being thrown off by something so simple and fairly cheap to fix.