The Suitcase Lady

Painting

April 4, 2017, 10:21 pm

An acquaintance of mine recently had a bad art experience. She is extremely knowledgeable about art history and has visited many major art museums here and abroad. My friend is also an elementary school teacher who incorporates exciting art projects into her lesson plans. It is always a delight when I teach in her classroom.

Her problem began when her husband’s company decided to have an employee party for fun and bonding. Being a good partner, she went with her spouse to the “art studio” where the party was to be held. These entertainment venues are spreading like spilled paint all over America. The concept is to be in a group, drink enough wine to feel relaxed and then play with the provided paints and canvases.

The facilitator (I refuse to use the word teacher) began by telling everyone to copy the picture she was holding up, a saccharine beach scene. It never occurred to my art loving friend that she couldn’t choose her own colors, alter the composition and paint in her own style; in other words, create an original work of art.

The leader was extremely unhappy with this display of originality and made her displeasure known.

Surprised that this art studio had nothing to do with art, my friend asked what the couples would do with the two absolutely identical paintings they would be taking home. In my opinion, a fair question, but not a good one for her husband’s career advancement. Good team players are to make copycat paintings and then regale in their new found inner artist.

The art czar’s response was that the second painting would “make a lovely present for a friend or relative”.

In the real world, an artist is a creative person who works to find unique solutions and perspectives. And becoming an artist involves years of study and hard work like every other worthwhile thing in life.

If you want to be an artist, take classes from an art center or from an artist. Then go out for wine after class. Or if you just want to have fun, buy some paints and canvases and invite your friends over.

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