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Have I mentioned my love for Whirly Pop popcorn?

Oh my goodness. The simple pleasures. Throw some popcorn kernels in with some oil, and crank, crank, crank the wooden handle. Listen closely as the beautiful, white orbs of deliciousness come to life. Add butter and salt, and you are good to go.

I’m eating a snack at 9:35 pm. And that is a beautiful thing.

On Tuesday last, Dylan and I were invited to participate in a Paint and Sip class. I signed us up because I was craving a night out and thought it would be fun to try something new. As we walked into the brewery where the class was being held (yes, brewery – welcome to Northern Colorado) I felt myself relax into the space. Or maybe that was just the beer included in the price of the experience.

Gazing upon a row of twenty blank canvases, twenty sets of paintbrushes, and twenty palettes of paint made my heart go pitter-patter. So much potential sat waiting to unfold on the table before me. I am a tentative artist who hasn’t played much with art supplies since high school. This class was the ‘welcome back’ to facilitated creativity that I needed.

I spent three hours following an instructor and applying paint to my own canvas. There is a soothing quality to spreading pigment across white, filling a space with colors and swirls. Long handled paint brushes with stained bristles make me feel powerful – there is space to create with such tools. I was astounded to realize that yes, I can conquer shadow and line, and even a bit of color theory without formal training. Well, the color theory came from my husband sitting next to me, but teachers come in various forms don’t they?

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At the end of the class twenty people had created the same concept, but each with their own unique interpretation. None of us were experts, at least I don’t think so, and yet the creativity flowed. This class was a reminder that joy comes in the process, rather than the concept of a finished product. I, myself, am a finisher. I love crossing things off the list, moving to the next task, and feeling like I accomplished many “to-dos” throughout the day. This class though, reminded me to be present with the paint. For when the canvas was finished, it was time to go home.

Playing with paint was a beautiful, fun and freeing experience, but my emotional takeaway carries more weight. Be present in the process, in the swirling mix of colors and shapes that will come together to create a scene. If you keep following the directions, surely beauty of your own variety will transpire too.

 

 

 

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