47andfearless











{February 19, 2013}   Ignorance is Bliss

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” –Edgar Degas

I’m only speaking for myself when I say this Degas quote sums up my recent experience painting with acrylics. I had a great time last month at Arte Wine and Painting Studio in Wauwatosa with my friend Ellen and my sisters-in-law Lisa and Kathy, all of whom have previously joined me on my year-long quest to try new things. (You can read about the adventures Ellen and I had in New York City here and learn about a hot glass class that Lisa, Kathy and I took here.)

Arte Wine and Painting Studio offers art classes in which students can replicate a famous painting, such as Monet’s Lily Pads or Edvard Munch’s The Scream, or simply use it as inspiration for a personal masterpiece. (Read about the experience my friend Michelle, a fellow blogger, had taking a similar class here.)

Instead of taking a class, the four of us opted for a few hours at the Paint Bar. Our artist bartender seated us at a table with easels, aprons and brushes, then delivered the wine and beer we ordered as well as plates of the paint colors we requested.

Lisa and I had printed out a few pictures to use for inspiration for our paintings. She had also printed out a few ideas for me, because they reminded her of a Marimekko Unikko wall hanging in my kitchen. I tossed my ideas and chose one of hers because I thought it would work with the colors in our living room.

Some of us used pencils to first sketch our designs on the canvas, then we got down to painting while sipping drinks and chatting. Lisa is an art teacher and offered suggestions for mixing colors and adding brush strokes here or there to get the look we wanted. I’ve seen some of her other artwork, so I knew her painting would be awesome. Her ability to show light and shadow so realistically in her close-up of sneakers is amazing.

What I didn’t know was how talented Kathy and Ellen are. Neither had much painting experience, yet both created cool canvases. Ellen’s nightscape swirls with gorgeous blues and purples reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Kathy’s detailed cat pops off a beautifully blended red background.

Not worried about correct proportions or proper technique, I was happy with how my floral painting turned out at the end of the night. I like its modern design and simple color scheme. Displayed in our living room, it’s a daily reminder of an enjoyable evening spent with three great women.

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Michelle says:

Looks like so much fun, Julie! (and thanks for tagging my post 🙂 ) And your painting is great…I love its minimalist quality. And that blue flower in the middle really pops!



Thank you, Michelle! It was a lot of fun! And you’re welcome for tagging your post, but did I do it correctly? My year of blogging is almost up and I haven’t figured out how to do so much of it! (Old dog, new tricks… 😉 )



Michelle says:

Yes, you did it absolutely right! I know this blogging thing can take a bit of getting used to. Will you continue blogging after the year is up? (I hope so!)



Aww, thanks for your encouragement! I haven’t yet decided what to do when the year is up. I’ll keep you posted!



Michelle says:

No problem! Thanks for keeping me posted 🙂



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