I hosted paint and wine night for a few girlfriends last weekend. I haven’t painted in a really long time, and decided it was time to bring out the acrylics and put down feelings in color. Not knowing what to paint, Diane suggested I derive inspiration from Paul Gauguin’s paintings. She told me the colors I used and the way I painted reminded her of Gauguin’s work. I had never heard of Gauguin until she told me this, and it took me a while to figure out how to even pronounce his name. I searched his photos to find a painting I liked.
In one of his paintings, I really liked the way the woman was sitting and the fact that she was an island girl wearing a red lavalava, so I pretty much copied this almost exactly on my canvas, slightly askew. For the scenery, I just drew indistinct lines to give the photo context.
My mind kind of switched to autopilot and I focused on my company.
Louise and Diane were both using watercolor to paint a beautiful cone shell, and a very intricate and beautiful coral garden respectively, Tori was coloring in a psychedelic fish and Mareike also colored a scene of Ofu island. We were discussing all manner of things, as you do on girls’ nights, and funny enough we had plenty of conversation surrounding french history, and then greek history.
A couple of hours and cups of wine later, I almost gave up on my painting because the colors were wonky and the canvas wasn’t taking to the paint very well. Diane suggested I keep going, and fill it in as much as possible. I trust Diane so much because she’s a really amazing artist. So I kept going, layering more and more colors without much effort except to make it heavy.
It turned out better than I thought… certainly better than I had planned since I had no idea what I was doing. It’s not very good, in terms of the brush strokes. It’s messy and the colors ARE wonky, but I kind of liked it that way. It just felt good to be painting again and the dusk colors made me feel warm. I didn’t even look back at Gauguin’s painting until after I completed mine that I realized that there were two women. How did I miss that? Just like my painting, I was lost in my own world in a swirl of colors.
And on that note, I am feeling grateful for these eyes that see in color.
The sun was setting outside and I was going to grab my camera to take a picture of the sun over the lagoon in the yard, but walked into my room to find the light casting dancing shadows on the wall and I honestly didn’t want to be anywhere else but here.
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