Art Talk

5 Tips on convincing your spouse to join you in a paint class

Couple Paint and Sip Date night
Trying something new together means growing your relationship

“OMG, that looks like so much fun honey, can we go do this together?” How many of us ladies have seen those amazingly cool painting photos of our friends at a “paint & sip” studio and thought this same thing? Trouble is, our “better half” doesn’t seem to think this new activity is up his alley.

As a matter of fact, if you ask a group of men whether they’d prefer to take a paint class or get up in front of a large crowd and make a speech…well, you know which one your husband or boyfriend would choose.

Yup, it’s a tough sell ladies but don’t fret, your local art lady (me, Corina!) has spoken to so many of my couple customers and have come to the following conclusions on how to make the sell. Sit back, relax, have a glass of wine and take notes…wink!

POINT #1, IT’S NOT JUST FOR WOMEN

Most men who even entertain the idea of “Hmm, maybe I should think about this new possible activity with my wife” soon snap back to their “reality” and assume the following: “Nah, this kind of stuff is just for women. I don’t want to go to a class with just a room full of women. What will the guys think if they catch wind of this? Nope, this isn’t going to happen.” Well, stop the presses! Go For It!

Now is your time to educate your lovie with a few counter points. Firstly, this stuff isn’t just for women; please note that most of the more well-known artists are MEN! Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock, etc.

Also, his point about being in a room full of women: what is wrong with that?!! He will be the “star” of the show, plus most of our Art Class & Wine Glass sessions on weekends are predominantly COUPLES.

And in conclusion, his fear that his guy buddies will hear about his painting outing will actually turn into HIM calling or texting his buddies after the class to either “show off” his painting or communicate what an amazing experience it was.

It ends off with this conversation with his buddy, “You need to bring your wife and next weekend we can all do a couples thing and paint! It’s so cool!”

POINT #2, “I DON’T HAVE ANY ART ABILITIES!”

Of course, he doesn’t have any art abilities…or does he??? We are all guilty of getting comfortable and not experimenting with different things, activities or even experimenting with a new restaurant.

So how in the heck are we going to get him to paint? Start off by telling him about your shortcomings. Let him know that you’re no Picasso either and as a matter of fact, that last paint class that you took with your best friend? Yeah, that’s not suppose to look like a mountain, it was suppose to be a meadow. Once your partner realizes that you went into it with little or no skills but enjoyed the process, he will feel a bit more at ease on this new activity.

Let him know that there is an instructor taking him “step by step” on the painting. Even so, at our art studio, we do pre-sketch many of our designs so that clients aren’t trying to fix a crooked Eiffel Tower. Communicate how the instructor walked around during the session and gave some students a more hands-on approach when they messed up their painting. There’s always a way to fix any painting, believe me!

And if he’s still hesitant, just suggest a fluid art pour painting session where they teach you how to mix and pour paint (no art skills required at all.)

No skills needed for this fun fluid art paint session!

POINT #3, WHO WANTS TO PAINT THAT?!

Ok, so maybe he isn’t as hesitant about trying this whole new “paint class” idea. You’ve gotten as far as discussing when you’d like to go and now to discuss the “where.” What do you mean “where you’d like to go?”

This is our little secret on how to seal the deal… Did you know that if you sign up for most paint & sip classes at many studios, they already have a calendar of what is being painted in advance and when?

For example, you look up a local franchise art studio, next Saturday’s calendar shows it’s a painting of a vase with colorful flowers at 7pm (with signup required in advance.) This works for some, but do you really think he’s going to want to paint flowers, and moreover, do you really think he’s going to want two of the same paintings of flowers? Nope, I didn’t think so.

Here’s where you “sell” him on the idea by letting him know that at Art Class & Wine Glass we do not have a set schedule of when and what is being painted. You both get to choose the time, the date and the paintings you’d prefer! What? Yes, you read this correctly! Maybe when you both went onto our catalog page he got really pumped up about doing that “Galaxy Bear” painting. And, once you scrolled down a bit further, he saw the “couples” paintings that are two canvases that make one idea and thought, “Wow, this would look great in our den.” Now is the time to get him excited with all the themes he can choose from.

Couples paintings where two canvases make one idea

POINT #4, BRING DRINKS & SNACKS

Hey, have you heard that you can bring foods and drinks to these type of establishments? Heck ya! If you let your spouse/boyfriend know that they can bring their favorite beer or wine, this paint activity just got a bit more “interesting.” Let’s face it, he’s going to be a bit hesitant anyway but if we add a little something to sweeten the deal, he may go along with you.

Pick up his favorite pizza “to go.” Bring his “go to” lager or beer. Sure, he may need some other snacks too…pack that as well. Most paint & sip studios are pretty flexible on adult beverages or even regular non-alcoholic beverages. Perhaps the weather is chilly outside and some hot lattes with some banana nut bread would hit the spot on a Saturday afternoon. The reason most studios permit foods and drinks is because it allows us to all relax with our comfort foods, thus creating a more fun atmosphere.

Of course, if you were taking ADVANCED ILLUSTRATION on a college campus these things would not be allowed. But remind him that this class is more “entertainment” than being a rigid, strict class environment. We call it an art party and not so much an art class.

POINT #5, SEAL THE DEAL WITH THIS STEP!

It’s Friday, you’ve brought this idea up for a second time and given him all the pertinent information. He’s on the fence. No plans with his buddies have been made for Saturday yet. You bought his favorite beer that’s chilling in the fridge. Oh, wait, what is this? His favorite candy bars too?

Now is the time to bring this up one last time. How? Well, we women have super powers don’t we? Let me tell you mine! About 11 years ago, my marketing director at my 9-5 job invited me to a “paint and sip” studio that was opening up here in Houston. I had no idea what a “paint and sip” was but it had the five magic words “Free paint and sip class.” Bam! I was sold!

But unfortunately when I told my husband about it, his face told me everything. And to counter that face, I made my face (hint, my super power!) I looked at him with big bright eyes of enthusiasm and hope (that he was going to say yes.) He did!

And now 11 years later, with two art studios of my own, I spread my advice on how you too can have an awesome time together as a couple learning, growing and having fun! Now get out there and paint…

Tips for artists on shoestring budget

Plain white disposable platter left behind from a previous party with fluid paint!

Times are tough right now. I’m not sugar-coating most of our situations here today. With the virus still in full force, many of us are facing tough decisions with our daily budgets. What bills are going to be paid, how much is left for food and transportation, do I have enough for art supplies?

The answer is definitely yes! Let me show you how!

CREATIVITY FLOURISHES EVERY DAY

Talk about making your own stencil!

Us creative types must dust off our imagination and become more innovative on how to approach our artistic dilemmas. Let’s go way back in time…let’s think “pre-historic man.” I bet there weren’t any fabulous craft stores they could visit such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby; not even a Wal-Mart! Mankind had to make a mark in his (or her) world.

But, how? The caves in northern Spain called “El Castillo” show a definitive answer to this question. They used their hands as stencils and blew “mineral-ground” paints. No, no, I’m not saying let’s start digging in the dirt, but I am asking you to look around your home for more innovative ideas.

My grandmother back in North Texas was a share-cropper’s wife. She and my grandfather had 10 children and a small plot of land. Grandma didn’t have an opportunity to go to the closest town but every now and then. She improvised.

However, I’ve been told that “need is the mother of invention” and we must not forget that if it’s going to happen, it’s up to us! The cards are stacked against us enough (most people look at us creative types as a bit “odd.”) We must continue!

EASY ENOUGH TO SAY, BUT HOW?

Cute! Paper or fabric embellishments on a clip

Let’s take baby steps, shall we? We can do an inventory of what we have to work with firstly. Start with your home office area. So much is going on in there and you don’t even realize it! Open that desk drawer: paper clips, rubber bands, mechanical pencil and maybe even a glue stick are what you might find.

But you’re not done! Turn around to the home printer area; eureka! printer paper! Ok Corina, how can this possibly help me? Two words people: PINTEREST SEARCH. Oh my, what do we find?

Great ideas on how to make paper art using…paper clips! See this awesome tutorial below from Loopylouslens blogpost. Again, use what you have in those drawers. Check out this butterfly paperclip craft at ps://pin.it/3pYWcZL

Mechanical pencils are amazing! Get that printer/copy paper and start doodling! If you happen to have a photo you’ve been wanting to turn into a drawing, the mechanical pencil is a great tool to approach this project with.

The mechanical pencil lends itself to crisp lines that capture the contour shapes instead of focusing on “shading” and gradients. This might be a great time to do some online research on “contour” drawing.

Contour drawing allows you to really look at the item or person you’re drawing without ever lifting your pencil and more dramatically not even LOOK down at your paper or pencil. Again, explore within your home! It’s limitless! See example of contour drawing by the “Artlady2017blog”.

I prefer BLIND COUNTOUR. Go for it!

GETTING STIR CRAZY IN THIS HOUSE

Bleach design drawn on the edge of tshirt.

Keep searching, those “art supplies” are there! I open the door to my laundry room; I ask myself “Really Corina? You really think you’ll find something here?” The answer is a definite YES!

For instance, you’ve seen those CLOROX bleach pens? It’s a pen! It leaves a mark, right?! Oh wait, maybe you haven’t made it to the grocery store in a while and that’s last on your list.

Let’s make our own bleach pen with cornstarch and bleach (and of course an empty bottle if you’d like to have more control with your art project). If no bottle available, make sure to clearly mark the bowl or glass that has bleach so that no one mistakes it for water.

Safety first! Secondly, check this link out on how to create your own bleach pen. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/how-to-make-your-own-bleach-gel-pen/

Squeeze bottle for bleach mixture. This helps drawing easier.

As you can see at the beginning of this section, I found an old green tshirt and it was pretty plain and really “old” so if I messed it up, I would be ok with it. Because of the damage done by bleach, put down some plastic bags or plastic tablecloth where you’ll be working on your project.

Again, we are using whatever we have in the house. If you’re lucky enough to have some latex gloves, go for it. If not, be careful to wash your hands very well after this project.

Next lay your tshirt flat. You must put some type of non-porous layer inside your shirt so that it does not soak into the back of the shirt. Again anything plastic is fine as long as you are OK with trashing it afterwards.

Now with a pencil, you can sketch your simple design and then trace over it with the bleach pen. Practice makes perfect; so don’t be afraid to find an old rag to practice on beforehand. Viola! A cool shirt is done!

JUST A FEW MORE IDEAS

In closing, I’ll rattle off a few more things that have lots of “potential.” For instance, food coloring in your pantry, parchment paper, aluminum foil, flour, wood scraps, teabags… shall I go on?

In conclusion, I’ve reached the end of my blog time. But again, the possibilities are limitless. Don’t let that tight budget ruin your creativity. CREATIVITY FINDS A WAY!

So many types of teas with so many different staining abilities

Expand to Experimental Art

It’s time for you to begin the experimental art portion of your life. Yes, someone needs to shake that old, dusty pencil or the same watercolor set from out of your art box. We think about our art guru, Bob Ross who’s famous words were “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” and realize that it takes us trying new mediums and techniques to expand our art realm. Is it scary? Yes. Will you make “happy little accidents”? Yes. Will you also discover amazing things along the way? YES!

A few months ago, I happened to walk into a new framing shop to get a poster for my dad framed and I noticed something quite unusual on the wall. It was an amazingly glossy piece of abstract art. The colors weren’t that great, the composition wasn’t “wow” either. But, what caught my attention was the material it was painted on. I asked the frame store owner what it was. He said simply, “plexiglass.”

Could it be that easy? Plexiglass!

Wow, could it be that easy? Wait, what kind of paint do I use? Does it wipe off? How do I start?
I started in art explorer mode and began the expedition. Home Depot for plexiglas was a “no-brainer.” Anything larger than 18×24 would require a specialty shop…nah, I’m just experimenting right now. Let’s leave the pro stuff for later.
Oils or acrylic? That was my next question. The obvious choice for me was acrylic. It’s cheap, easy to use and to be quite honest, it was the first thing that I saw in my craft room.
Hold on, if I’m painting on plexiglas and it looks glossy on the front side…that meant that I must paint on the backside. Thus, I am going to have to paint backwards! Whoa, that just blew my mind. Thinking about a tree that I was about to paint, I surmised that I will have to paint some of the branches first, none of the background till the very end and somewhere along the middle I will be creating the tree leaves. Hmm, usually I can paint a tree in a matter of minutes. This is a challenge!

Challenge Accepted
So now that we’ve stepped out of the normal paint realm, I find myself being challenged. Thinking differently and problem-solving on this new project was refreshing and invigorating. Taking a unique approach with a new medium allows you to not only proceed with excitement but also to proceed with the basic art knowledge you’ve acquired over so many projects already.

Well, the project went well. I was able to dabble and just have fun with this piece. I knew if it went horribly wrong, I could just wipe it off or wash it off. No harm, no foul. Time and time again, I find myself repeating these words to my art students, “Don’t worry, what’s the worst that can happen?” Now, it’s time for you to take these words to heart on your next great experiment! Happy crafting!

Experimental success!

Art from the Heart – true story

Our little art studio not only does classes for kids and adults here, but we also travel to offsite events quite often. We began teaching at a second nursing home just a few months ago. This particular senior home caters to residents with memory problems, dementia and Alzheimers disease. I get so wrapped up in planning the class, prepping for everything and implementing the curriculum that sometimes we lose sight of the people. Oh, the residents are so receptive and ready to begin. Our last session caught us off-guard Continue Reading

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