The other night we attended an Island Art Party class to celebrate a friend’s thirty-seventh birthday…again. I was excited to test my non-house painting skills, since I haven’t painted on canvas since high school, although I have distinct memories of not enjoying the mess that comes along with painting for fun. I had never been to anything like this before, but I had heard stories, so I was mentally prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was to leave there with an award in my hands.
The idea behind Island Art Party is very simple, drink, have fun, and paint a picture. The painting session takes about two hours from start to finish and you can buy drinks from the bar throughout the entire production. There is also all you can eat fresh popped popcorn available. The cost of the session is between $40-60 (depending on whether you live on island or are visiting) and the drinks were upwards of $10.
It is extremely metaphorical, but you begin the group painting with a blank canvas. After you put on a smock (or apron if you prefer), you are instructed on how many pumps of paint for eat color you will need for your work of art. We were given three types of paint brushes to complete our masterpieces.
We began by painting the sky, followed by the sea below, and the moon above. My artistic talent really came through getting the ocean to have that sense of motion in it. The waves danced off of the tip of my brush and onto the waiting canvas.
We then added the moon’s reflection, a mountain, and you can see the beginning of my palm tree on the right hand side. It was at this point I should have stopped and faked a painting injury or simply made my palm tree taller.
My final product was a sad rendition of their sample. I found my palm tree to be too low and the palm fronds dropped below the horizon and got lost in the colors of the sea. After I realized how bad it looked I kept messing with it until I figured out there was nothing else to do except to move on…literally, I got up and moved around the room, harboring jealousy at other people’s palm fronds.
The painting session was fun because we had so many friends doing it together. The time sped by and I couldn’t believe how quickly we had churned out ten different masterpieces. When we were all done, they handed me an award…nobody else in the class got one. At the time I assumed they saw such talent in the way I painted my ocean that someone had probably called the Rhode Island School of Design and put my name on a short list of possible painting prodigies. Maybe because my name is Vincent they figured all it would take to make me great would be one less ear?
It was only later that I learned I won a drawing for a free session to come back to Island Art Party and try my hand at another work of art. Emily had entered my name when I was not paying attention or possibly when I was focused on my sad palm tree.