Monday, June 16, 2014

Making Art

by Kim Van Sickler

Last week a group of us got together to try our hand at painting.

There are franchises like this all over. The idea is you take a group of people looking for a social bonding activity and teach them all how to paint the same picture.
Artists Uncork'd
We used a non-franchise group called Artists Uncork'd, based in Cleveland, OH. Sara showed up at our neighborhood hangout an hour ahead of time to set up the individual place-settings of: easel, canvas, pallet of paints, cup of water, paper towel, and variety of paintbrushes. We provided our own refreshments. Edible and drinkable. Sara stood at the front of the room with her own teacher-sized easel and instructed us step by step through the painting process.

Before our big day we had reviewed the organization's website and Facebook page and selected our painting. Now all there was to do was replicate it. No problem, huh?

When everyone began arriving I heard a lot of, "I don't have a clue how to paint; about the best I can draw are stick figures." I belonged to this camp.

But Sara was patient. She nurtured us. Leaked snippets of essential information in a methodical fashion so we had just what we needed when we needed it. Like the schoolteacher she formerly was. And our canvasses metamorphosed.

Ultimately we arrived at 16 unique variations of "Cleveland Starry Nights".

Even though we referenced the same original drawing, and all tried to copy what Sara was doing at the front of the room, every single picture turned out differently. Every one reflected the personality of the artist who made it.

Our end result was a reflection of us.

Now that is art.


  1. That's a cool exercise. Creative people tend to be creative in many areas.

  2. Sounds like so much fun. Not sure I could paint anything worthwhile though.

  3. We have something like that here in Nashville--it's called "Sips and Strokes." A woman I worked with attended. She had this amazing painting hanging in her cubicle. She said they walk you through it, but I don't think even with someone walking me through it I could do anything resembling "art!"

  4. Ha, ha, Stephanie. There do seem to be references to drinking in all of their titles. Imbibing does loosen you up a bit. I bet you'd be surprised at how well you can paint when someone walks you through it step by step. Honestly, I never thought I'd end up with anything recognizable. My painting turned out much better than I imagined!

  5. For me, painting is a spectator "sport." But this is an interesting endeavor.

  6. What a great idea! I'm going to get some friends together to do this. Never heard of it before!!

  7. That's a fantastic activity. I remember getting just a few tips from a friend once, and it really gave me so much more insight into painting than I'd had before.