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Find Your Artistic Side

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DISCLAIMER: The event described below was experienced under the influence of severe cold symptoms, including, but not limited to, self-pitying sniffles, sporadic sneezes, and unsightly cold sweats.

There is nothing more alarming, and perhaps more reassuring, than waking up one day and realizing that you have kind of, sort of morphed into a more mature version of yourself. One day you’re climbing trees and playing make believe, and then the next day you’re tweezing unbecoming body hairs and paying utility bills. Of course, a lot of other moments happen in-between, everything from learning to kiss with a mouthful of braces to playing beer pong on miscellaneous surfaces.

The exact transition from one stage to the next is not always clear. You might just feel your lips suddenly parting and the words “let’s take more classes” falling out, as if you formed them within your own mouth. And then you realize that you did. But where did those words come from? What did you mean by them? Perhaps you meant that you’d like to make more classes in the new year. But remember when going to class was the absolute worst thing you could think of? Sure, art class was pretty cool. At least in there you knew your brain was safe from math. Gym glass was not so bad either. The only real activity required was walking around in circles, which ultimately helped you hone the social skill of walking while running your mouth.

So if you are in your mid-twenties and beyond and suddenly find yourself overcome with the desire to take more classes, you, my friend, are not alone. In fact, it was one of my many nonchalant resolutions made (undoubtedly over drinks) with a close friend of mine. For weeks we brainstormed, adding more and more potential classes to our list. Everything from pottery to pole-dancing, we were determined to have a multitude of experiences. And even though executing resolutions is not always as fun as making them, I am happy to report that, at least for the month of January, we have kept our word.

Corks & Canvas, a painting class with a twist, was not even on our initial list, but when I saw the subject for the upcoming class was a goat, I knew we had to participate, my friend being both a talented painter and a Capricorn. The class is two and a half hours long and costs $28, which includes all of the materials plus an invitation to BYOB. So we showed up promptly at 7 PM with wine in hand and an unusual desire to paint a goat in our hearts.

From the very beginning the atmosphere was incredibly relaxed. And I had not yet opened my bottle of wine, so you can accept that as fact. With nothing but an 8×10 canvas, a tin can of water, and a minimal palette of four colors placed before us, the instructors began to explain that there was nothing to stress about. Little did they know, I had a steady stream of snot working its way down my nostrils every few seconds. They also explained that this was not so much a class as it was an experience, which is all well and good, but I would continue to think of it as a class in regards to my previously stated resolution.

Before I knew it, we were painting. The instructor was down-to-earth and easygoing, using terms I understood, such as “upside down avocado” and “heart-shape without the cleavage.” There was no artsy-fartsy, over-my-head lingo, only the sound of paint covering canvas, and the occasional blowing of my nose.

What I found most appealing about the class was that there was more than one way to experience it. You could either take full advantage of the paint-by-numbers-like instruction made available to you throughout, following the directions word for word, and coming out on the other end with something that definitely resembled a goat. Or you could do whatever the hell you like. In fact, they encourage that. You can either view the canvas as a big, dumb, white space that needs to be covered up, or you can see it as the entrance to an unknown world you get to explore with your brush. The limited color palette can either stifle you or open you up. I, for one, could not wait to cover up the big, dumb, white space before me, but only because of the excessive amount of mucus building up.

In the end, my “goat” mostly resembled Mushu, that sassy ass dragon from Disney’s Mulan. Still, I was happy to have spent my Friday night out painting with a friend rather than sitting at home and being sick all alone. Whether or not the healthier attendees felt differently is hard to say.

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