The theme of art coming from pain is all too prevalent. Sayings like “the starving artist” and “the tortured artist” are so common, it’s easy to forget the reality behind them. Art seems to have more meaning when it comes from pain and danger. But what about art that comes from an environment that is safe and welcoming? What I learned from the paint night was that art that comes from safety and happiness is valid and valuable.
For the paint night we were told that the subject would be a self-portrait, and I had no idea where to begin. I couldn’t draw a face shape, let alone mix the colours to create any semblance of brown. I could feel the pressure begin.
But this was a safe space. A place to experiment and be free and open with what our interpretation was. The support received at the event was something that I can only describe as heartwarming. The laughter at each table and the lightheartedness of the event took away the pressure of creating artwork. I was no longer painting something that needed to be pretty or served a purpose. I was creating to create.
I’m sure that the positive environment had an effect on everyone’s art piece. We were not there to judge or laugh at, but rather to embrace and laugh with.
Making art in a safe space had a special impact on each individual and their process as well as their final piece. The simple act of creating was enough and nothing more was expected.
I truly hope that everyone gets to experience something like this, and that if you have any hesitations about coming to an event, you’re more open to the idea.
I look forward to (hopefully!) seeing you there next time.