Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Stroke of Genius

Sometimes in marriages it takes one spouse to gently remind the other of a possible foible, to help set things right as it were. This time it was the lovely L of J and L, Laureen, who had to once again remind J, John, that we do not write simply a travel blog but rather a blog with a broader scope: one concerning research and exploration. John usually just tells inquisitive minds - "Yeah, we travel and write about those travels." He starts researching, then writing and thinking of how the words and photos need to fit onto the page while Laureen smiles and explains that the whole idea behind this blog is to share the concept of digging deeper into "What's in your backyard?" Research and then go out and explore where that research leads whether near to home or further out into the world. It doesn't really matter, just go!

John continues to smile away while speaking with our new-found friends of the evening while Laureen explains the nuts and bolts of what we do. While social media in all its various forms is done, and perhaps overdone  in our modern age, blogging is still a relatively opaque field for many. And,  it is good to have Laureen around in public when John opens his mouth - it's a synergy sort of thing.

Laureen - posing, again
So, with a wedding anniversary coming up J and L wondered what sort of thing would be truly unique - sipping champagne atop the Eiffel Tower? Walking the ruins of an ancient tomb in Rome? Perhaps even looking for pirate treasure in the Caribbean? But reality crashed in and with work schedules they started looking into local events which could be fun and emphasize togetherness (thus why people celebrate the day they were married).

Kudos to Laureen who found a small company out of the Inland Empire in Southern California called the Purple Easel.

A rose by another name
An extremely innovative practice of getting groups of strangers (of course, you can attend with loved ones or friends) for a few hours to teach the art of art. Yes, actually painting on canvas - that one stumbling block which gets in the way of most talented people - to put our work out there for others to see (and criticize perhaps). If to criticize is to bolster the artist's talent then bring it on, but if it is simply a tool to ridicule then leave the room.

At least, that is J's sentiment with as many writing critics he's had.

The artist at work
We spent a very enjoyable evening in Riverside, California at the El Torito Restaurant with our two instructors (artists extraordinaire), Ian (the guy in the front of the room giving stroke by brush struck  instructions to us palette neophytes), and Aarick who wandered the room giving hints here and there to the artists-in-training doing their best to create works resembling something you could call art. For many it was a struggle mixing the right shades from the variety of colors, but we looked good mixing and actually most of the new artists turned white canvases into something they could proudly show friends and family.

Dr. Beyer - deep in artistic concentration
It isn't easy painting background colors, trees, shadows trees, branches that don't look like lumps of color, and most challenging of all, the elk.  At one point, Laureen's baby elk, I believe the term is calf, appeared to be an alien hybrid animal. Art is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Eventually though, with the assistance of our instructors, the animal began to take on more earthly proportions.

Writing is difficult enough, and I suppose that is why God created editors, but when placing colors onto canvas there is not much help from above. Unless it's people like Aarick or Ian standing behind you suggesting gently that your painting would look better if you concentrated on making the trees look like trees instead of telephone lines waiting for the utility crews to attach the overhead wires. Of course, they never said things like that but were only the most two encouraging fellas one could hope for when painting.
The fun begins

This was not paint by the numbers - nope. A blank canvas, an original painting at the head of the room, and directions (amply given) by the two artists. Every painting resembled the original to a degree but unique was an understatement amongst the forty people there on a Monday evening hoping to be the next Monet.

A proud moment
J was hoping not to get paint on his jeans while L was looking forward to the next attempt to be placed in the Louvre. Well, perhaps I overstate just a bit.

Bringing it home

And you have to love a company which advertises - Laugh, Drink (responsibly), paint and you will leave with your own unique and personally painted masterpiece.

Purple Easel offers painting events at their studio in Rancho Cucamonga or at various locations through-out Southern California and seems to be growing by the week according to KTLA and the Inland Empire Explorer.

Not sure we painted a couple of masterpieces but we're blogging about them, putting them on Facebook (L is since J can't even spell Facebook) and they are hanging in our home.
Our First Works of "Art"
That's what we refer to as masterpieces in our high desert locale!

For more information:

Purple Easel
Enriching Lives Through the Joy of Painting

11966 Jack Benny Dr. Unit 104 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739 Phone: 909.638.1272
Reservations@PurpleEasel.corms & Conditions

No comments:

Post a Comment