We went to the Muse Paintbar last week. I was not too familiar with its concept before we went, but I had seen the storefront while walking through the nearby shopping area. All I knew was that it was a place where one could paint. I got a little more educated about the place the day of the visit. There would be an instructor providing directions during an extended group painting session. There were no qualification requirements to attend a session. Anybody, even those with little or no experience, could paint. The instructor would be using a pre-selected painting as a template for providing the instructions. He or she would be painting along with us. While you were painting, you could also relax with some food and drink from the bar. Music was played in the background.
As I have mentioned in the past, I have not done any real painting since my days in school. This turned out to be the perfect situation and setting to try something out once again without a feeling of pressure.
It turns out that there is an internal tension in my psyche between the need of an engineering mind to to follow instructions, or a process, when doing something, and the need to relax and let go, and let the creative juices flow more freely without worrying too much about the end results, when it comes to artistry.
When taking digital pictures, you have the opportunity to address any issue you might have had with your previous attempts by taking another picture, by making whatever correction you feel is necessary. This process of making corrections or changes is not as easy when you are applying paint to canvas.
The Muse Paintbar experience was a totally laid back experience. It was fun. The instructor was good when it came to addressing the aspect of the the painting challenge that I have mentioned before. Even while providing instruction, his overall direction was generally about being casual and non-critical with our efforts on the canvas, and not worrying about how it would all look in the end. One did not have to paint “within the lines” as it were. My engineering mind managed to absorb this vibe, perhaps because of the relaxed environment we were in. I went against my ingrained instinct and let myself be more free-flowing in my efforts.
This was the setup in which we were enjoying our experience at the Muse Paintbar.We had a table to ourselves as a group. Instructions were being provided by a young man standing on the platform to the right side of the picture. He was playing some nice music through from his smartphone and the audio system in the room, mixing in some familiar oldies with newer tunes.
This is what we came home with collectively.
The experience made me think about painting once again.