Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Perspectives: Eiffel Tower Painting Party #SOL16

In 4th grade I won a blue ribbon in an art show at Mark Twain Elementary for a macaroni collage! I kept the ribbon and trekked to the alley behind my house and dumped the collage in the burn barrel. That, I tell students, was the pinnacle of my artistic life. 

I envy artists. They make painting, drawing, sculpting look easy. They see and create magic. The idea that I could "make good art" has been my life-long dream, so when I discovered THE GRAPE VAN GOGH, a local art-party studio, I saw my chance. 

Along with a couple of friends, I signed up to paint the Eiffel Tower this past Friday. Chris and I met for dinner and and headed to TGVG to paint w/ a group of 49 other inspiring artists. Our friend Pam had to cancel, so we kept her updated via texts and photos as the evening progressed. 

Since Chris and I arrived early, we had our choice of seats. Being a good student and wanting to sit as close to the model piece, we parked ourselves up front. We had a little wait, so I took the opportunity to send Pam the first text update: 

To Pam: Here's what we have so far: 

From Pam: Oh that's the best-lol.

Later, I sent pam another update: 

From Pam: Wow, that's looking awesome.

Once we moved on to the Eiffel Tower itself, I sent Pam another update: 


From Pam: Wow that looks so good!!

Notice the exclamation marks? I followed up with a confession:

To Pam: Haha! That's the cheat sheet!

From Pam: Oh good one.

When the template, which we traced, arrived, I told Chris and some ladies at our table that I'm on a 504 painting plan. I need accommodations! I need an IEP to paint successfully! Here's a picture of my tracing, which I also texted to Pam:


Here we are with our finished paintings: 


When I signed up for the painting party, I expected to create an exact replica of the original, which is pictured in the background. As the evening progressed, I began noticing the uniqueness of each "artist's" painting. We all received the same instruction, the same supplies, the same modeling, but we each brought our own perspectives to the task, as well as our own experience. 


This was my first painting party but Chris's third. I, however, was the only one in the room who had actually seen the Eiffel Tower. At one point, the instructor told us that the bottom part of our painting would be a reflection but that she didn't know whether it was a lake or a river. I showed her a picture of the Seine from up in the tower that I took last March during my trip to France. 

Early in the process, our instructor advised us to change our point-of-view by inverting our painting so we could work on the bottom from the top. Here's my inverted painting: 

Another surprise to me: We only used a small brush for a small part of the painting. Instead, we painted with a plastic knife! And we used a sponge. 

I jokingly announced that I'm decorating the faculty restroom in my hall with my painting. Right now it's sitting in the kitchen. 

I "admire" it each time I raid the fridge. It's better than my 4th grade macaroni collage, even if I didn't win a blue ribbon! 

Another perspective on the room of painters.