Life lessons with a bit of painting and a twist

When I first heard of Painting with a Twist, I thought it sounded quirky and interesting, but not for me. After all, I can’t drink alcohol and I definitely can’t paint. So why would I want to pay money to hang out at a place that involves wine and painting lessons? The answer is, I wouldn’t.

Well, I got “green egged and hammed” recently and I can’t wait to go back to PWAT.

A recent painting I created at Painting with a Twist
A recent painting I created at Painting with a Twist

It all started when I realized that featuring this unique and fun business would be a great Arts and Entertainment feature for The City Wire. I got the story approved and set up the interviews. The message that came from those interviews was loud and clear: Painting with a Twist is about more than a fun time with a little wine. It’s about feeling empowered, about trying something new, and learning that you can be more creative than you ever realized. I couldn’t wait to try it for myself and a couple of weeks ago, a friend invited me to join her and other friends for a party.

Painting plum blossoms

 

This is more what my "art" usually looks like. This drawing is from a local restaurant that leaves crayons on the table. I couldn't resist.
This is more what my “art” usually looks like. This drawing is from a local restaurant that leaves crayons on the table. I couldn’t resist.

The painting Plum Blossoms looked simple enough, which made it seem like a great starting piece. When you get to Painting with a Twist, the teachers are very patient and offer advice on how to improve your painting. I really struggled with the first part of the painting because it didn’t look like the background of the finished sample. The artist teacher had to remind me several times that the finished painting would only look, well, finished, when the rest of the components were in place.

Once I got past the first part, the rest was more relaxing. I forced my “Type A” tendencies out of the picture for a few hours and had so much fun. I left feeling encouraged, refreshed and inspired. Not only was I inspired by trying something new, it gave me a great idea for creating my home office space for my business, Jamie’s Notebook.

I decided this fall to make that business my full-time job instead of a freelance gig that was on the side. Lately I’ve been working in our front room but really need a space to call my own. We started setting up our third bedroom as that space, but never really finished it. I now want to fill the walls with paintings from Painting with a Twist to look nice but also remind me that I can accomplish so much more than I ever thought I could.

Even with my work brain turned off, I can’t help but see a good blog or a good story just about anywhere I go. Hence, this blog. But there’s more.

A few life lessons from Painting with a Twist

  • Don’t judge something by its earliest stages. Any project, be it a painting or turning one’s life around, shouldn’t be judged by how it looks when a person first gets started. It only looks finished when it’s well, finished. The background will come together when the rest of the components are in place. 
  • You don’t have to be an artist to create art. Art is subjective, it’s about feeling. It’s about expressing ideas. Even when you’re all painting the same picture, each one comes out differently and reflects a little bit of the person who painted it. While the plum blossoms don’t necessarily reflect my feelings, I can see it. I can see where I went off the proverbial reservation and made my own decisions on how I wanted my art to look. I added elements and took away elements, all on my own. 
  • Trying something new doesn’t have to be threatening but it’s important to make sure you’re trying this new something in an environment where creativity … and potential failure is met with kindness and support. Trying something new in an environment where you feel that you have to measure up in some way just creates more fear, not empowerment. 
  • Trying anything new, especially if it’s creative, is always more fun when everyone else is doing the same.
Our entire group after we finished. I love how each person has their own twist on the picture.
Our entire group after we finished. I love how each person has their own twist on the picture. (Photo from the PWAT Facebook page)

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