First up is Art. Have you ever done Paint Nite? Or a similarly run program? Essentially, Paint Nite is meant to bring out the artist in all the common folk like you and me. Add in some drinks and the ambiance of a fine restaurant and you've got the makings of a sweet little evening. This was my first Paint Nite. I got a deal on Groupon so it was only $25 I think? There is a calendar of events for each month on their website, where they list the paintings and locations for each. I guess some people may choose to attend based on a restaurant they'd like to try, but I picked my session according to the painting. The piece I chose was titled 'Tree of Abundance'. How could i pass that up?! In addition to that being everything I'd like to bring into my life right now, the colors were shades of blue and green and those hues are my true loves.
My session was held at Clementine's, a restaurant I had actually never been to before. A bit of history: many years ago as a young lass, I enjoyed doing art and even took lessons in charcoal and watercolor (but never acrylic, which is what we used here), ,so I was really looking forward to doing some painting. We were set up in a separate room of the restaurant (maybe a banquet space?) which was really pretty. Each place was set with an easel, 2 brushes, a plate with some dabs of paint and a water cup. There was a server dedicated to us who came around to take drink/food orders which was nice. Even though I had eaten snacks beforehand I was hoping to order some appetizers to munch on while painting, but after checking the menu and even asking our server if there were any options without dairy, we couldn't find any! So that was kind of a disappointment. I could have gotten an entrée but really, I mean, you can't sit down to a steak dinner while you're absorbed in your art! The drink menu was extensive and super creative but for some reason I didn't feel like drinking. I ended up getting an iced tea with some homemade rosemary-lemon elixir mixed in. Sounds weird but it was really good.
The instructor began shortly after most people arrived and she literally takes you through the process step by step - from mixing the paint colors, to where on the canvas to draw lines, etc. But she also made it a point to tell everyone to take liberties with their paintings and deviate where they saw fit. She encouraged us to use different colors and in general just make the paintings our own. She also walked around often in case you needed help and held up various people's creations so we could all see different takes on the same picture. It was pretty neat how each person's picture looked somewhat similar but also really unique. All in all this was a really fun way to spend a weeknight, even if I was pretty much starving by the end! Next time I'll bring snacks. Who knew art could be so exhausting?!
Alright on to books. I went kind of nuts at the library recently and I'm two books in already.
First up was this guy:
Believe it or not, Vonnegut was never required reading for me in all my years of formal schooling, and in my 35 years of life, I had never picked up one of his books. I decided it was finally time I make his acquaintance and so I chose one of his most notorious titles. This is a short little tome and an easy read and I finished it in about 3 hours. I know I'm going to ruffle a lot of Vonnegut die hard's feathers by saying this but I didn't love it. I get the whole anti-war satire here but I didn't especially like the tone of the book. It was depressing for sure, and I felt like his message was basically stating that humanity is doomed. He writes about the evils of war but I don't feel like he offered any hope or solution for the future. I mean I get he's anti-war, but aren't most people anti-war?! Who is really FOR war. But what are we going to do about it? Where is the hope and the solution for a brighter future her? Nonexistent. And I didn't like the sci-fi aspect of the story (I don't really like sci-fi at all as a genre). Especially because I got the feeling he was saying humans are going to kill each other off and only the smarter, more enlightened aliens will survive. Also, by the end of the book I was about to stab myself in the eye after the millionth reiteration of "And so it goes". I don't know why fans of this book are so obsessed with those words. Punch that phrase into Instagram and you will see people who have actually got this tattooed on their body?! I dk I guess I was just looking for some optimism in here and couldn't find any. I am however interested in learning more about Vonnegut as a person, so I picked up a biography about him at the library as well. Maybe I'll gain more understanding of him after reading that.
I also just finished this book:
I personally like Elizabeth Gilbert and loved Eat, Pray, Love (I know some people have strong feelings either way on that one). I also follow her on FB and I like her inspirational and thought-provoking posts. She is a very Oprah-esque type person to me. This was a hefty book, volume wise. Quite nearly 500 pages of tiny print. It is a novel that takes you through the life of a peculiar woman named Alma Whitaker who lived in Philadelphia in the early 1800's. The book wasn't really what I expected, but I ended up getting lost and absorbed in the story Gilbert weaved, and was looking forward to reading it every night after work. If you like Elizabeth Gilbert, or just like a good yarn, I would recommend :)
Well this post ended up being A LOT wordier than I had planned. Sorry about that. Next time, more pictures, less words. Happy Thursday!
Have you ever done Paint Nite?
What books are you reading right now?