Ladies’ Paint Nights in Clinton
Usually, I try to write about things I do with the kids. This time, I was feeling like a little self-care could go a long way. Moms need some time for themselves. After all, if we are healthy and happy and take care of our own bodies and minds, we can take better care of those around us, too.
This Pick-a-Place destination took me to Clinton Community Nature Center. It really was created for everyone in our community. It is all-inclusive, offering play-dates for preschoolers, summer camps and seasonal events for children of all ages, plant sales for the gardeners, wine tastings and yoga classes for the rest. And my favorite – Ladies’ Paint Night. That one is for me.
I signed up for the class online. The registration was easy and took one minute. There is no prep required, and you don’t need to bring any supplies. Once you arrive, you’re welcomed by the Nature Center’s staff and are invited to enjoy some refreshments and fellowship with other ladies. It is always fun to meet others and ask them where they came from and why they decided to join the event. Quite a few people drove a long way to be there. I am sure they were glad they did. Megan Meguel, a mom of two from Clinton, came by herself, just like I did. We both agreed that Ladies’ Paint Night was a good opportunity to take a break from all the MANY mom obligations and do something fun for ourselves.
The beautiful large studio had tables arranged with plastic covers on them, respirator masks and rubber gloves. That alone told us this would be an exciting night.
Judy Gearhart, the lovely local guest artist, explained the process. We were creating an abstract painting using a special technique called sequential spray painting, using natural materials to layer the colors. It sounds more complicated than it is. But I also love saying it because it sounds so artsy and sophisticated.
Each artist (can I call us artists even if most of us came to Paint Night for the first time and didn’t know a thing about sequential spray painting?) picked a few natural materials to work with. Judy collected various leaves, pinecones, pine needles, sticks, twigs, and ferns from the woods right outside the Nature Center, so we had plenty of options to choose from. Some ladies were missing that special element for their paintings so they went out in the dark looking for more treasures. Once the elements were spread on our canvases, the spray painting began. We were thankful for those respirators and gloves!
The process itself didn’t take long. In about half an hour each one of us had a unique piece of art. All dry and wanting a special spot on a wall.
Sarah Hammond, Nature Center Education Coordinator, said usually it takes longer. When you deal with real paint and brushes, or work on a sculpture, sometimes the process takes over two hours. But no one is complaining. That’s two hours of art therapy. We could all use some of that.
It was a wonderful experience: I learned something new, relaxed in an unusual and rewarding way (painting definitely beats Netflix) and brought home a pretty special one-of-a-kind painting. I look forward to more Paint Nights at the Nature Center.