Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:


The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who would patrol the room and offer guidance.

Pre-painting tips: 
  • Use water to keep the paint creamy
  • Allocate space well on the palette for mixing 
  • Use the lighter color first when mixing
  • Streaks are good
The structure: Brian would explain how to paint a section, and blast awesome music while we went at it. 

Phase 1: To make the background, we mixed white and blue and streaked away. The light source was meant to come from the upper left, so we had to go lighter in that area. If the background got too dark, we could add white to the canvas to lighten it up.

Phase 2: For the ground, we made purple by combining red and blue. Since there would be a tree between the ground and the light source, the right side would be darker.

Intermission: Since the event was supposed to take two hours, we got a break about halfway through. Below is an actual conversation I had with a man peering into the event space:

Him: What's going on in there?
Me: Paint Nite!
Him: What do you do on Paint Nite?
Me: (oblivious) We paint!
My friend M: Did he just ask you what happens on Paint Nite?
Me: (realization dawning) Oh, yeah. That was kinda dumb, wasn't it.

Phase 3: Time for the tree! We mixed white, yellow, and blue to make an intermediate green shade as the base. Then we went for darker on the left side. Finally, a bit of yellow to lighten the right side. The unfinished work below gave me Chewbacca vibes:


Phase 4: Decorate the tree! Here, I chose to honor Sheba's memory by having her be the star. We also made round ornaments colored red, yellow, and orange.

Phase 5: The painting's subject is supposed to be a dog, but since we were to make "Oops" our own, I painted my little peanut instead. When I asked Kory how to make black, she gave me black paint. Ask and ye shall receive!

Phase 6: The pièce de résistance: the cord wrapped around the tree and the seated observer. I used my black paint for this one. Since apparently old-school artists signed their work using the last color they painted with, I signed in black under my spawn's derrière.

Here is the finished product:


Brian ended the night with a call to action: be kind in the face of all the anger and hate floating around out there.

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The next morning, I asked Junior where he was in the painting, and he said, "Right there!" And then he flipped it over onto the floor and announced, "I'm going to hammer it!"

Toddlers, amirite?

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TL;DR: I went to a Paint Nite and painted a thing.

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This post brought to you by winter sniffles! Poor Junior is miserable.