Fill in the blank: The last time I painted for my own enjoyment was ____________.
As a mom, I’ve attempted to paint numerous times in the past few years. Of course, the whole time I was doing it, I watched my daughter get paint in her hair and on the table, mopped water off the floor as she flung her brush around excitedly, and tried to keep my mouth shut spewing rules so I wouldn’t stifle her creativity.
The Dirty Easel is the brainchild of Christiane Michaelis, resident Austinite, who says that most women don’t make time to simply “create.” We get mired in our daily routines and swamped by our responsibilities. When confronted with a blank canvas, most of us feel some trepidation, maybe even anxiety. The purpose of a Dirty Easel paint night is to remove the intimidation and have fun in a relaxed, social setting while creating your own unique piece of art.
At the start of the evening, Michaelis asked us when we last painted for our own enjoyment and stated that most kids stop between the ages of 7 and 12. Why? She paused to allow us to come to our own conclusions. Then she demystified the painting process by calling our attention to the tools we were going to use to create our masterpieces.
Michaelis uses acrylic paints because they are fast-drying and versatile. “Just begin,” she said, “and, if you don’t like it, paint over it.” We each had brushes of varying thickness and shape at our disposal. On a separate table, Michaelis placed bins of found objects like a plastic cup, a scraper, pencils, and more so we could experiment with different shapes, lines, and textures. Next to the paints were bottles of glitter.
As the evening progressed, our paintings took shape, then reshaped, and, in some cases, ended up completely different from how they began. Some of us began with the end in mind, and some of us had no idea what we wanted to paint and just let the colors flow across the canvas.
I think I’m now addicted to the Dirty Easel method of painting! The fact that I was given the chance to creatively express myself in the company of new and old friends while drinking wine and eating the excellent cuisine from BlackFinn Ameripub only helped enhance the experience.
Paint Nights are scheduled about 3-4 per month at varying locations. See the schedule here. The cost is $40 per person. Free Fun in Austin has two Paint Night spots to give away! Enter to win a spot for you and a friend to enjoy a night of creative fun with the Dirty Easel. One winner will be selected using random.org on Sunday, October 26, 2014 and contacted by email. Sweepstakes Official Rules. If you cannot see the form below, please visit the original post to enter. Loading…
Dawn M. Ambuehl-Sadek is a work-at-home mom of two girls: Maya, age 5 and Lila, 7 months. She has been writing in various mediums since she was in elementary school, including poetry, short stories, newsletter articles, and business writing. She currently serves as a teaching artist with Badgerdog and authors a blog focused on parenting and poetry.