Art Class: Canvas, Colours and Creativity

It was on a foggy friday November night that Janette and I ventured out of the city to the village of Eversholt to visit our friend Esther and her two dogs Bob and Binky. We had an evening of girly gossip, fine wine and creativity planned and the date had been in the diary for weeks. As Janette and I pulled up outside Esther’s little countryside abode we both sat back for a moment to relax our shoulders as we’d spent the last 2 or 3 miles with our faces practically touching the windscreen to make sure we could see where we were going in the dark and the fog. We weren’t in London anymore Bob and Binky, that was sure.

Binky and Bob

Esther welcomed us in her typical huggy fashion and instantly made us feel welcome in her home. Bob and Binky on the other hand sat quietly in the fireplace staring out curiously at these two new faces until we popped open a bottle of Perrier Jouet Rose and Binky bolted up the stairs. It’s not just fireworks that make a lurcher jump then? 🙂 While we chatted, Esther whipped up a delicious Thai Curry and then the creativity began!

Art Class

Esther discovered an art technique a few weeks ago that she’s been practising with a few close friends and family. She’d shown us a few pieces that she’d created already and Janette and I were keen to have a go ourselves. I had warned Esther that while I can be creative with my words and direction, I did get told once by a school teacher that I frustrated her because I couldn’t colour inside the lines. ‘Don’t worry about that’ she said, ‘Everyone can be an artist with this technique.’. Here’s one of Esther’s pieces that she created with her mum.


Canvas and Colours

Our first task was to pick our canvas and colours. There were a host of different shapes and sizes but I opted for a rather large canvas with plenty of space to make artistic magic and colour outside the lines. As for colours I was immediately drawn to a fluorescent orange and then added a bright yellow, metallic blue and metallic green. Janette on the other hand opted for a more petite canvas with a navy and dark pink paint as well as the metallic blue and green too.

We taped up the edges of the canvas to create a border and then took our base colours and, there’s no pretty way for me to say this, blobbed on the colours.

Choosing my colours

Blobbing on the paint

Once our blobs were in place we used our fingers to spread the paint across the canvas and create our background colour. We had to be careful not to blend the colours and create a single shade but instead created a nice visual medley. Once the background was in place and we’d attempted to get as much paint out from under our fingernails, we were allowed take each of our colours including our accent colour and squidge it out all over the place. I went a little swirly with my colours as you can see below! Then the final step with our paints was to take a little wooden stick (I’m sure there is a more technical term) and create shapes or words in the paint, again not muddling the colours too much, to build up the texture in our picture. At this stage I was quite happy with my painting and ready to pack up but then Esther said, ‘No. There’s more to come.’ and out came the glitter glue!

Surface colours and accents

Swirls and colours

Glitter and Sparkles

Esther revealed a vast collection of shiny objects for us to choose from with just about anything you can imagine. We had buttons, sequins, tiny mirrored pieces, wire balls and sunglass lenses and much, much more. I rummaged around to find anything that remotely resembled a bubble to begin and then opened my mind to other complimentary pieces to give my work of art more texture, character and interest.

Bubbles on canvas

Shiny pieces and sequins

The final touch was to add a sprinkle of fairy dust over each of our paintings and make a little wish. No, I’m not telling what my wish was because if I do it might not come true. 🙂

A sprinkle of fairy dust

Creation and interpretation

Our masterpieces were now complete and all we needed to do was to remove our masking tape borders to reveal our finished work. I was very excited at this point. In fact  I think we all were. Here are each of finished paintings. I’d love to hear what you think of them or what you see in each of them. When I was painting my picture my mind was free but when it came to the decoration I was clear I wanted certain objects to be placed in certain positions on the canvas. Collections here and there of bubble shaped buttons and scatterings of sequins. In the morning I looked at my piece again and suddenly I could see all the colour and energy of Brazil and the jungles of Costa Rica. Surrealist butterflies and parrots could be seen amongst the swirls and I spent time turning the canvas to see exactly which way up it should be hung. I think the simple answer is there is no answer to what it is or what it could be and that my friends, is the beauty of this form of painting.

Our Masterpieces

Steph’s Masterpiece

Esther’s Masterpiece

Janette’s Masterpiece

One last thing before I sign off, THANK YOU ESTHER! We had a great time! I’m no longer bothered about the fact I can’t colour inside the lines!

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