“It will be fun,” I said.
“How do you know?” asked my sister.
“See, it says right here on the Internet ad, It’s FUN art, not FINE art!” I was trying to convince her to go to one of those painting classes that have become popular lately.
“But, I can’t paint!” she exclaimed.
“It doesn’t matter. Right here it says, step by step instructions. Anyone can do it. They provide the canvas, paint and brushes. All we have to do is paint.”
“I’ve heard of those places,” she said, “but I’ve never been to one.” She still wasn’t sure, but she agreed to try it. I had never been before either.
We dutifully showed up at the art shop at our appointment time with our suggested bottle of wine. My sister uncorked and poured the wine. I tried to set mine down where I would not mistake it for water and rinse out my brush in it.
Local aspiring artists lead the classes. The painting of the day was “Sunflowers on Brown.”
Our lesson began. “First, we will paint the entire canvas brown and black for the background.” Well, so far so good. Anyone can cover a canvas with paint, just like painting a wall. When finished, we dried the acrylic paint with a hair dryer.
Just as I decided things were going well, I turned over my glass of wine on another customer. Maybe I better forget the wine. I think I might paint better without it.
“Use chalk to draw circles for the center of the flowers. Now draw lines where the petals should be. Don’t worry about the chalk lines, we will paint over them.” So, we drew circles and lines for the leaves and petals.
“Yours doesn’t look right,” said my always-the-teacher sister. “It looks good to me,” I growled. “Don’t be an art critic.”
Then the fun part came. “Paint the leaves first and dry them.” We used the familiar-by-now hair dryer. “Then fill in the petals with the yellow paint. The first coat will cover it. Don’t worry about how it looks.” On and on we went wondering when disaster would strike.
We didn’t have to wait long. “Fill your round brush with yellow and paint the petals.” Moans and groans emitted from the students as full scope of the catastrophe began to sink in. “It can be sloppy looking,” said the instructor, “Don’t worry it will all come together.” Being sloppy was not a problem. Keeping your elbows out of the paint was.
I was appalled at the look of my painting. My sister also thought hers didn’t look good, but we painted and painted with time ticking away. Finally we figured things were about as good as they were going to get for a two hour class and gave up.
All the students posed with our masterpieces and paint-stained aprons for a group picture. Some people actually turned out pretty good paintings, but others looked even worse than mine. I tried not to think about it. We finished drying the pictures and brought them home.
“Are you going to hang yours?” asked my sister. “I think I can put mine in the bathroom at church or maybe in my kitchen. I will get my step-son to frame it. He knows how.”
“Umm, I think I will hang mine in the closet.” But by the next morning, I was beginning to think it looked better than I remembered.
I’m still not sure what to do with it, but, after all, it’s FUN art, not fine art.