Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Vino van Gogh May 9, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 10:12 pm
Tags: , ,

Normally painting is usually a simple activity for me involving one or two cans of paint and a piece of furniture. There are no intricate details or small lines that require intense concentration. Well, I got out of my comfort zone this week and actually painted a picture on canvas. And it wasn’t even paint by numbers!

My friend Andrea received Living Social coupon for her birthday to attend Vino van Gogh. Sarah did a similar activity a few months ago in Denver. Vino van Gogh was just slightly different. The company hosts painting events at local restaurants around the Chicago suburbs. At each location they create a different painting.

The Living Social deal that Andrea got was to attend a Vino van Gogh at Brio in Lombard. Brio is an upscale version of the Olive Garden…but no breadsticks. During the week they have a special for $20 that includes a soup or salad, main entree and dessert. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity, we grabbed dinner before our class. The food was excellent. I enjoyed a Caesar salad, pan-seared tilapia topped with a shrimp/crab cake with grilled vegetables and a brownie swirled with caramel for dessert, all paired with a delightful chardonnay.

After the wine, I felt my confidence growing that maybe I could pull of a painting. The majority of painting I usually do is on big canvas like dressers or tables and even then I usually cheat with a stencil or fabric. So I might have felt a little intimidated when I sat down and stared at a small 11X14 stark white canvas and then looked at the picture of Venice we were going to create. Luckily the competitive side of me kicked in which might have been aided by another glass of wine but whatever it was, I got down to business.

The leader had a few obstacles up against her from the start. The room we were in was very cramped and there were a few overbookings, which made it an even smaller space. We started a few minutes late but the crowd seemed to get over the tight quarters and everyone hunkered down to work. The leader gave great directions and guided the class along at our own pace. She slowed down when there were questions and walked around the room to offer suggestions. What helped the most was that she painted the picture with us, breaking down the painting into sections. Painting seemed way less daunting and became more enjoyable tackling small pieces at a time.

Here you can see the progression:

Halfway done

3/4 of the way done

The final product

Not to bad huh? It’s already up in our kitchen which happens to have an Italian theme so it fits perfectly! But I’m still no Van Gogh and will probably still just stick to furniture instead of canvas.


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