Comfort Zone

We are in Tacoma and I will soon be forced out of my comfort zone at an art and wine sipping event.  We are going to a wine bar stocked with an art instructor who will teach us how to paint dahlias on canvas with acrylic paints.

I cannot draw, sketch, or paint. It has been that way since I was a child. I don’t think it has anything to do with lack of training. I just don’t possess the capacity. Perhaps after a glass or two of wine I won’t care how my painting of dahlias turns out.  Husband and daughter are both good at art and are excited about doing this. I will enjoy being with them, but it makes me anxious to think about the actual painting part of it.

I think it is  good to try new things like this, but I wish I could plunge joyfully into them instead of creep hesitantly toward them.

How do you feel about trying new things? Are you a creeper or a plunger? How have such experiences turned out? 

26 thoughts on “Comfort Zone”

  1. Sandy went to one of those, minus the wine. It was not very good, which meant she did not have fun because she could not roll with the experience. Apply mindfulness. Live in the moment. Don’t worry about the result. Enjoy the wine, the feel of the brush on canvas. Watch the paint mix. Enjoy the wine. Don’t rush. What are you learning about art?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. These events are very popular in Germany. My daughter has gone to several and really enjoys it. I’m generally a stand back and watch rather than participate type, but I think I’d try that one, especially if the wine is good!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I’m not necessarily averse to new experiences, but I don’t go out of my way to do things that don’t appeal to me. I went to a fabulous art experience that started at the Russian Museum of Art and ended at Jane’s Art Studio nearby. I wrote about it here after it happened. A lot of fun.

    Tried some new things to eat at the fair yesterday. Mixed results!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have tried numerous new experiences since moving here to Winona two years ago, and most of them have turned out well. I am probably more of a plunger in most cases, but tend to creep if it’s something I have no idea how to do. I wish you luck, Renee – you’ll do fine… and have one more experience under your belt.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I love that picture of the dahlias in the header. Renee, don’t worry about producing inferior paintings. There is so much bad art in the world, and the judgment of such is so subjective, that you might accidentally produce a masterpiece.

    Usually I am a plunger, but often if I know nothing at all about something, I creep very slowly until I know enough to know where the Landmines are buried. Once I know that, I can plunge away.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Renee,

    I’ve done two art/wine events and came away pleased with the experience. I’m about as far from visually artistic as one can be, feeling much more at home with a house-painting brush than an oil-on-canvas brush.

    If the teacher is a good communicator and you follow her/his guidance, youi’ll be fine. Very low pressure, and everyone usually does a passable job at recreating the simple design. My two were a birds on a wire and a forest of birch trees in front of a rainbow sky. Not exactly Van Gogh or Monet. I was more concerned with the quality of the wine being served (passable) and the goodies provided (by family)–delish.

    Go in with low expectations and a receptive attitude and you’ll do fine.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i learned the biggest lesson of my art life when a teacher told me to stop trying to make it look like a picture
    if you want a photo of a flower take a photo of a flower
    go fo the feeling no photo can capture
    you are the one that feels your feeling just put it run out of your brush

    changed my life

    Liked by 6 people

  8. i really hate the premise of paying to meet at a bottle of wine and paint
    it is supposed to be the other way around

    wine and painting go well together but to paint getting drunk to release inhibitions sucks as a premise

    a gathering of non artists giggling and painting still life’s sounds like hell to me

    i saw my stack of fresh canvas’ yesterday and vowed to get at it
    i need to find my acrylics and go

    maybe i should do watercolor as a release it’s so easy and fresh boom boom 15 minutes

    do i creep or plunge?….

    Liked by 2 people

  9. In farming, as in a lot of business, they tell you not to be the first person to adopt a new trend, but don’t be the last either.
    I split the difference.
    It’s easier and often cheaper to adopt new trends in the Theater than it is to buy the newest latest and greatest piece of farm machinery.
    I doubt I will ever have auto steer and auto track guidance machinery. Not enough acres to justify. And certainly not NEARLY enough money.

    But new adventures?? Love them!!Bring it on! (*Risk of bodily injury, how long might I have to stand or how far might I have to walk not withstanding…”)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Good for you, Renee. Glad it turned out to be enjoyable.

    Most of my life I’ve pretty much plunged headlong into whatever struck my fancy. There’s just no other way of explaining all of the scrapes I got myself into. To a large extent I think it’s a matter of temperament, some people are lot more cautious by nature than I am. Generally speaking, I have always been a risk taker, and by and large, most of them turned out okay.

    Now with old age and some wisdom acquired along the way, I think a little more before I act than I used to. This is especially true if there’s a risk of physical injury.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Today we were at the Point Defiance Rose garden where they also have many dahlias. I like looking at real dahlias more than I like painting them.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. OT: This is the opposite of a reminder. Some of you know that I was going to have a booth at the Midtown Farmers Market this Saturday (tomorrow) and this coming Tuesday to sell my photos (metal prints, matted prints, cards). I’ve had to cancel both of those.

    If anyone wants to know why, better to email me, I’d rather not say too many personal details on a public blog


  13. I am a dedicate concrete-random, so in theory a plunger, sometimes in the plumbing sense of the term. In education I was often “the first by whom it is tried.” If not the inventor. The only good English teacher colleague I had used to quote Pope’s line at me as a joke, sometimes in irritation. But I did not really jump in. I read, looked for research, tried to find models. Then wrote my own stuff, always taking notes, keeping copies, trying to make it better. I spent June reviewing, trashing, revising,etc. I do not think that makes me a true plunger.
    When I decided to try dry art media, I did the same. Bought books, tried their lessons, studied the kind of art I liked, my best way to learn. Then I tried. Was patient for growth. Made it fun. trashed almost all the early stuff. Studied my errors. Tried to be flakey now and then. Violated the rules, foollowed the rules, studied art, etc. I got better, never that good, but loved the process. Now I trash the later stuff, a good growth point too.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. There aren’t many art-related activities I wouldn’t blithely attempt. With regard to classes, my preference would be toward things I don’t already know how to do. Every year we spend a week in Grand Marais and I always take some sort of class at the Art Colony for a couple of days. Since I have to choose from classes that coincide with our vacation week, I’m not presented with many options, certainly not ones that fall directly in my comfort zone. This year it was painting abstracts inspired by nature. I’m not usually a non-representative painter and I usually paint in oil. For this class I chose to use acrylics so that my paintings would be dry by the time we left for home. It was definitely out of my immediate comfort zone and it forced me to contemplate and clarify what “abstract” meant to me. It was a growth experience.

    On the other end of the art spectrum and about as far from abstract painting as you can get, last fall I took a class at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. Botanical art is hyper-realistic.

    I’ve taken classes at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in book repair, book binding, wood engraving, cyanotype printing, and box making. I’ve taken poetry writing classes at the Loft.

    I’m not as bold, though, as I used to be. For a few years, I had a side business making custom props for commercial photographers. These were one-of-a-kind items on a tight schedule—things like a fake block of ice with the logo of a beer brand embossed in it or a set of transparent dentures or a spider web a real spider would use or a chocolate volcano that would smoke and erupt chocolate chips on cue. When I agreed to produce the prop, it was almost always without any idea how I could accomplish it. I just had the foolish confidence that I would figure it out before the deadline, and I did. I was doing all that in addition to holding a regular full time job. Eventually it just got to be too much stress.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. I have never done art in, among, near, with a group. Only because did not have a chance. Considering dropping in on a memoir writing group, just to see what happens. I wrote my memoirs as fiction. Job done. It is free, the group, in VINE, where I live much of my day now.
    At VINE today was talking to a man who when h be found out I was from TH, starting naming the farmers who I knew in my childhood. How odd to hear these names mentioned in that enviornment. Tiny is the world.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. I don’t have the sort of artistic talent to plunge into anything. I’m willing to try just about anything if I don’t have to make a big investment in materials, though.

    I’ve had mixed results with art projects. Things like sewing, embroidery, mosaicing, mostly okay. Drawing and painting I’m not good at. Photography, not very successful, with an occasional lucky shot.

    Liked by 1 person

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