I'm set to do a fundraising Sip 'n' Play event next month. It's not my first so I have some history to look back over to see what I want to try and do for this one. First, I wish I could turn all the attending adults back into children for the evening. Children have a lot more fun with paint and a lot less fear than adults who think they don't know how to paint and have a lot of reasons why they never will.
"What do I have to do to become a painter?"
"Paint. Presto, you're a painter!"
"No, I mean what do I have to do to become a good painter?"
"Paint. Presto! It's all good."
I've put as many of 30 children in a group in front of paints and mirrors and told them to paint what they really look like. I'm always amazed at how they go right to the things that make them unique and even exaggerate them. Big teeth! Glasses! Curly Hair! Look at me! There is not ever one word spoken about how they don't know what to do. They love themselves and it shows in their paintings. They don't know painting techniques, they don't know the name of cerulean blue - just that it matches their eyes. They rarely look at the kid next to them painting to copy what they are doing. And, when someone asks if they can start over and I tell them paints are magic and they can just paint over their mistakes and they will disappear, they believe me!
I'm not about to try that with a dozen or more adults at this next event.
While I was searching for ways to make this "Sip 'n' Paint" fun and "successful" for the adults (who might want to go home with a painting they like), I very nearly forgot my own philosophy about play and painting. So, I'm revisiting my goals
for the evening. And here's what I'm shooting for.
I'm gonna have me some fun painting and playing with you and not worry about whether your or I go home with a painting we like or not. I hope you follow suit.
It's all good. I'll give you some basics to begin with and let you copy what I'm doing step by step if that makes you more comfortable. But mostly I hope you enjoy pushing paint around and channeling Matisse and Van Gogh. Don't put your paintbrush in your wine glass though or, if you do, don't worry about it. It's all good.