Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cheap + Easy is Cheasy!

My friend from last week, she's been taking painting classes for a while now. She was sharing some stories about how the class has been introduced to certain painting exercises....they might use a piece of poetry, a religious reading, a yoga pose, some music.

Some of the things she learned: Don't start painting a picture that's in your head. Instead, completely, randomly, fill the space with color, color, color, then start to pull up and develop certain areas that make sense based on your inspiration.

And: Don't paint any area just once. The painting will develop over 4 or 5 "passes" in the same space. The layering of the colors is part of the process.

Also: Instead of buying canvases, she said they use roofing felt. I bought a huge roll for about $25 at the Home Depot (the local hardware store was out, but they usually carry it, too, if you aren't into werehouse store experiences) and I cut off a very large piece. In the first picture, you can see that it's nearly the size of our kitchen table.

A canvas of this size would be prohibitively expensive, but with this roofing paper you can make hundreds of enormous paintings for just a few dollars!

There's something about using such a large space, where you're actually required to use big, sweeping, painting gestures, that feels so liberating. We had so much fun, and it couldn't have been easier. I had some oil colors that are really old. I think I bought them in 1995. Yeah. I think at some point, I thought maybe painting could be my hobby. This was before I realized that my abilities were squarely between where my lack of talent met my lack of training.

We used them, and they were just fine. Tommy couldn't be there, but Scotty, our friend, and I, all worked together to smear paint around for quite sometime. Scotty loved doing this! He loved squeezing the paint from the tubes, and using the brush, and mixing the colors together. (I got a sheet of wax paper, and that's where we laid out the colors, and did some mixing, too.) He did a great job!

In the future, now that we know we like doing this, we will replace the oils with acrylics. Easier to clean up, less angst when Scotty is running around with the paint smeared on his hands, and I think it will give us better coverage, too. But I'm not complaining. I think it turned out so beautifully, and it will always be a special reminder of our time with our friends.

Nothing could be cheaper or easier, especially for ending up as such a big, splashy product!

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