be yourself!!

so i have a super wonderful friend who owns the Sips and Strokes in sandy springs.  she has graciously asked about 7,324 times if my daughters and i would like to come try it out.   well….we took her up on the invite this last weekend.  the only daughter brave enough to go out with her chubby aging mother was megan, so the two of us set out on our little “date night”.  i was quite apprehensive about the whole schmear since i cannot draw a stick figure…..much less paint a lovely painting.  megan was a little worried too which made me feel better.  so we get there and score some seats close to the front….and realize there are about 50 people there that night….one more thing to stress about?  nope!!  everyone is focusing on their own work of art and their own friends and their own “sipping”  – ha!  (apparently the “sips” part of sips and strokes helps one relax, unwind, and throw caution to the wind.  hee hee  i will admit to having a diet coke – fully loaded – to help my own nerves!)  and megan and i discovered way too late that it could also be called SNACKS and strokes…seems that other – more prepared patrons – marched in with mini buffets they set up for themselves and their friends.  i am holding sandra responsible for the lack of snacks on our table as she did not clue me in.  most likely because there is a limited amount of room on the table and she was worried that my snacking might overtake my stroking??  she could be right….i can see myself scarfing down loads of food and getting way behind on the pesky painting part.  ha!    so sandra is the instructor….and i was thrilled to find that her fun personality and super sense of humor totally were part of the class.  she cracked so many jokes during the intro part of the class that by the time we were finally instructed to pick up one of our brushes, i was much more relaxed.   our project that night was a painting of some abstract dragonflies.  here’s the kicker…..i was amazed at how these things turned out….not that mine is good – i’ll do the big reveal here in a sec….just that we all had the exact same instructions – which were very detailed – and they all turned out sooooooo very different.  megan and i were sitting right next to eachother….and heard the same instructions (“draw a curved line halfway down your canvas in yellow”    or  “make a medium sized circle to the right in blue”)  very basic instructions…. i find that i probably needed something stronger than a diet coke (which since i don’t drink would have to be a hunk of chocolate to help me finish on a sugar high) because these little instructions are stressing me and i’m hesitant and i can’t veer from her commands even a little bit.   no venturing out on my own.  no creative juices flowing.  just terror driven obedience!   then i look over at megan.  who i have not even been talking to as i have been concentrating on “making a small curved line in red” and gasp!  she is soooo getting kicked out!  she has actually decided that she wants her picture to match her bedroom….so as i am using red and yellow as instructed….she has been mixing a lovely green and a cheerful coral and has totally branched out on her own!  does her bravery know no bounds????  where does she get this defiant behavior????  MUST be her father!!!  we are instructed to outline the wings in black and megan says to me – “that’ll be a little harsh for the look i’m going for – i’m gonna skip that step.”   WHAT???  WHO does she think she is????  i am dutifully following sandra’s every command.  what kind of daughter have i raised???  will she spend her whole life pushing against authority????  should i seek professional help NOW? before things get worse????  oh where have i gone wrong?????   and then i take a moment and look at her painting.  and then i look back at mine.  and then i look at hers again.   she has created a beautiful happy masterpiece…..and i have created….an interpretation of the commands i followed.  megan has painted something that reflects her style and taste and personality.  i have created an interpretation of the commands i followed.  megan’s painting was held up for the whole class to see what a great job she did!  i was told “nice first effort laura”  =D    i left that night with several thoughts…..   #1 i am SOOOOOOOOO going back!!!  it was a BLAST!!!!  sandra – and the rest of the staff – did a wonderful job making it a super fun evening!!!     #2 i am soooooooooooooooo taking tom!!!  can’t wait to see what he comes up with!  #3  i’m going to try and relax and follow megan’s example of being herself.   that’s why all the paintings were different.  even when given the same specific instructions, a little bit of who you are ends up on the canvas.  i am excited and proud that megan had the courage to let a LOT a bit of who she is end up on the canvas.  what a wonderful evening!!!!  make sure you check out the website….  and get over there for a class – you’ll love it!!!      https://www.sipsnstrokes.com/home.aspx

MY dragonflies…..

MEGAN’S masterpiece!

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