Art, art of any kind, shows that folks are trying. ~Walter Kirn
My friend Lisa Zettelmayer, yes the same Lisa from Happy 50th Anniversary, had a great idea to get together for a Paint Nite! For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of experiencing or even hearing of such an event, they’re seriously so much fun! I can’t believe that was two weeks ago already! I’ve been so busy. With what you may ask? You’ll find out in the next few blog posts. In the meantime, I’d like to talk about Paint Nite.
Our event was held at Rocky’s on Route 8 in Allison Park in Pittsburgh. What exactly is Paint Nite? Simple, it’s an event whereas you purchase a ticket to paint a specific painting. Yes, before signing up for the gig, the coordinating artist, along with the painting of choice is listed for review before committing. These activities are held in multiple locations periodically throughout the year. Do you have to be an artist? Absolutely not! That’s what makes it so much fun. You get to hang out with friends, kick back a few brews, and listen to Ben, who happened to be our artist extraordinaire two Fridays ago. His job? In addition to setting up the brushes, our paints, supplying our aprons, and the canvases, yes they were very nice canvases stretched over wooden frames measuring about nineteen inches wide by sixteen inches height, he also instructed us with the steps to painting our very own masterpiece. Ben was in essence playing Bob Ross. He gave step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the finished piece. Naturally, when reviewing all the paintings in the room, about forty individuals, everyone maintained the same general theme but with their own artistic touch. Is this fine art? No, not in my opinion, just a neat way to introduce the arts and some culture into the lives of everyday people, while getting out and socializing and trying something new. Personally, I loved it!
Not only has it been a while since I’ve seen Lisa, and it’s nice to catch up, but it was also a pleasure to meet her friends. However, what I really enjoyed was holding a paintbrush again and being around art. You know, my art history professor Maureen Vissat, who was an excellent teacher and a wonderful person, once told our class, “Unless you’re involved in the arts, there will be a time when you miss it.” Paraphrasing her of course, I realize just how true that statement is! I do miss being around art, and participating in it. Granted, I do graphic design on the side, but it’s not the same. I actually long for the interaction between artists and the inspiration floating in the air. There’s nothing like it.
While we were painting, I had a feeling of déjà vu. I knew exactly what it was. It was being among artists, lined up in front of easels, focusing on a single piece, from way back to my days at Seton Hill University, when I had drawing class with Phil Rostek. Only our subjects consisted of nudes, or some sort of masterpiece projected on the wall, or a fun center display. I used a lot, and I mean a lot of charcoal and conte crayon in that class. Seriously, I looked like I was mining the coal mines every time I left class. I sported charcoal on my face, cloths, ears, hair, under my nails, neck, you get the idea.
What I miss the most is getting my hands dirty in clay and sculpting pottery on the wheel. Pottery was always a passion of mine, and I do miss that the most. (After spending a few hours in the clay studio, I wore more of the clay than what was used in all my pieces combined!)
I don’t consider myself an artist, even though I love art, art history, I have a Fine Art Degree, which gave me the opportunity to have a gallery show My Senior Art Exhibit at Seton Hill University – ARTsylum, and admittedly, I do have an artist eye. Perhaps, if I participated in developing art for the sake of art, then I might be able to classify myself in that manner, maybe.
Prior to the event we met at the Tuscan Inn, a few minutes away, for dinner and wine. It was truly an enjoyable dinner with a great group of gals, delicious food, and fun conversation. Maybe too much fun, for we were laughing and bringing the place to life.
This trendy paint party, has become a big thing. I’ve heard of them before, I’ve just never participated. And you know what? I’m ready to do it again. Once I posted my painting to Facebook, a few of my cousins commented that they wanted to join me the next time I go. That sounds like a plan! I was told the Latrobe Art Center has them occasionally and the participants are permitted to bring his/her own alcohol, if desired. I’m in! Hopefully, I can get a ticket from Groupon, like I did this one.
Now, my next step is to create my Thrill of the Hunt scavenger hunt Events as such a hot topic! One day, my scavenger hunts will be the thing to do all over the nation, at least I hope so. I love adventure!