Paint nights spur ingenuity

Maggie Klaers

Many people believe that artistic ability is a genetically built-in talent, when in fact most of the skills involved in art come from practice and repetition. Even so, art isn’t meant only for those with the dexterity to turn their own artistic vision into a reality, it is meant for everyone.

A while back my mom and I decided to host our first paint night. We invited some friends and family to come to our house and enjoy a night of dinner, fellowship and painting, and it was a hit. Soon it became a regular tradition.

The people we invited ranged from relatively inexperienced painters to people who draw and paint regularly. Even though many people were apprehensive going into the evening, by the end, everyone had found something to love about art.

We didn’t set any requirements for what each guest could paint. Instead we set out canvases in all different sizes, and a full rainbow of colors for each person to create whatever they would like. Some of the newly minted artists simply covered their canvases solidly with a couple colors, but others spent the entire night pouring their energy into the century’s next masterpiece.

Many of the people who have come to a paint night have said they have fallen in love with painting because it helped them destress and unwind. Painting isn’t just about the art hanging in the museums; painting just for the sake of painting can be a therapeutic practice.

For me, I fell in love with art before I hit kindergarten. Soon enough, I traded in my crayons for charcoal, colored pencils and paint brushes. I swapped coloring books with crayon spilling out of the lines for accurately drawn portraits. Many self-titled artists, like myself, find art fulfilling through the pursuit of improvement in our own skills.

Others have come to love art because it is essentially the practice of taking an internal, personal vision and channeling it into real, tangible thing. Really, art is a way to connect to your inner self. Painting is so exhilarating because you are able to make something that is so personal and expressive.

All of these reasons to love art are never more apparent to me than during paint nights. Everyone gathers around the table and is entranced by the simple movement of swiping a brush across a canvas. Whether it be the wave of relaxation that accompanies painting, improving techniques, or the thrill of creating something uniquely your own — there are aspects of art for everyone to love.