Part one of this post can be found here
After starting a once-per-month Art Day with a couple of my girlfriends last year, I must say it was a highlight for me in 2017. It not only helped rekindle my love and passion for art and paint and getting creative, it also cultivated some of my most important relationships.
Art Day is not just about getting together and painting if you haven’t already guessed. It is about friendship and trust and love for the women in my life that I call my girlfriends. We have this weird bond over paint and creativity and vulnerability of letting go on a blank canvas. At times what we produce is subpar at best…other times, it is a masterpiece! Sometimes we just need to start over with a blank canvas. It’s much like life. We have people around us whom we trust for feedback, praise, and sometimes strongly suggested correction.
I decided I would provide more information about Art Day and how to start a new tradition for you and your friends if you need to cultivate those relationships and creativity for yourselves. It seems quite simple to organize Art Day, but I think it is important to follow a protocol to successfully pull this off more than once.
- Decide who will be involved in Art Day. There are three of us. We have had others come to Art Day, including a husband who likes to show us up on his art skills! I personally think a smaller group works best. Mostly because of scheduling and timing. My advice is no more than four, six tops. I think it would be almost impossible if we had more.
- Decide on where to hold Art Day. For us, we have mostly gone to my friend, Karla’s place, but we have indeed branched out a couple of times…even having Art Day on a big porch at one of my friend’s homes where I was house sitting. It is a huge historical home and we had a great time pushing ourselves into a new environment to paint. In fact, that is the day we chose to push our skill level to a still life.
- Decide on a date for Art Day. Get a date nailed down and everyone must put it on their calendar and make it a priority. This is extremely important to make it work. I will say we have had family emergencies or illnesses pop up and had to cancel, but it has to be an emergency, otherwise, life will always find a way to throw a curveball and Art Day will get postponed.
- Pick a time for Art Day. For us, Saturday mid-morning or lunchtime seems to work well. We like to sleep in on Saturday mornings and don’t want to deprive ourselves of that since it is the weekend. Make it a time that works. We have held it earlier and we have held it later depending on other priorities. Be flexible, but schedule the time.
- Art Day food is life. Decide on food! This is also an important part of Art Day. We usually potluck some items, but we don’t make it difficult because, again, it is our weekend. Saturdays are prime time for us working women and cooking and preparing food all night Friday night or early Saturday morning is not what we want to be doing. Make it easy! Heck, order out if that is a possibility. We have had a couple of Art Days that we didn’t do any food, except some almonds and chocolates. I must say coffee is a necessity for us! Maybe tea or wine is your deal, but keep it simple.
- Decide on what you will paint. This needs to be done before the day of your scheduled Art Day. It also needs to be shared and agreed upon. We usually have one person designated to find something to paint. We have even started a shared Pinterest board for our ideas. We started with a pretty basic shaped mermaid that we did in acrylics, but we branched out over time into watercolors, abstract, and even tackled the still life. In fact, to make that one fun, we each contributed an object to the still life. Just make sure everyone is on the same page. We usually have a theme around the season or perhaps the upcoming holiday.
- The day of Art Day. Make sure there are supplies for everyone. We have all acquired our own supplies, but we share canvases, paints, and brushes. We also have on hand, water cups for our brushes, paper towels, easels, pencils, drop cloth, or other items we might want to use for painting.
- Other options for Art Day. For us, music is necessary. Get yourself some good playlists. We’ve even been known to dance! I think it would be fun to try an Art Day field trip. Perhaps get out in a nature or downtown in the city and paint what you see. Take pictures of yourselves and your art so you have those memories. Post, or don’t, on your social media…you might come up with a clever hashtag to use.
Mostly, just relax and have fun. That is what Art Day is all about. Growing in your creativity as well as your friendships.
Be sure to check out part one of my Art Day for the Soul post found here.