There seems to be a trend of these painting classes, where one can bring a lot of friends, a few bottles of wine, and paint in a festive atmosphere. Terrific idea for camaraderie, and even discovering a hidden talent. But I have one criticism.

In the effort of marketing, business, making money---whatever---these endeavours rob the participant of INDIVIDUALISM. In the end, the pictures that are taken of the group and their final product, every single picture is the SAME. The sky is blue, the clouds are white, and the knockoff Van Gogh is futile. This cookie cutter approach to art may make the business a few dollars, but to what avail?

To me it seems kind of insulting. Even condescending. If one has already planned to attend this kind of event, it seems then that they want to learn something about painting. Sure, mindless instruction is fine, but there is no effort and therefore no result that the individual can be proud of. They take their painting home, and most likely throw it away. The person most likely thinks “That was fun. But I stink as an artist. I’m really bad.”

That is so sad. The creative in that person quits right there. I have taught quite a few of these classes. However, I take another approach. Bring a photo of what YOU like. Your pet, a flower, a landscape scene. And the realize that whatever comes out of your brush is YOU! Start with something you want to learn about. Then I can help you get there. Now it may not be the perfect artist that you envision at first. Yes, maybe you have to peel back some layers to get “really good”. Realizing your  contribution to the Creative Universe is an involved journey, but it’s okay if you don’t want to travel it all at once. Just realize that you are an individual and we don't need cookie cutter art. What we need is what YOU have to offer.