A while back, I told my boyfriend that I was going to paint something. It was only fair to give a heads up when adding something to the “to do” list of the weekend and roping off a section of the living room for a messy project.
It’s not that I am a painter. I have next to no experience in the medium. I have more experience painting apartments than I have painting canvases. Yet, while at work, I had been inspired and I had to paint something. So, I texted him:
I want to paint something in oil. I have a vision, it must be made.
Now, he is very encouraging of my projects, even tolerant of the war zone that replaces the living room when all my boxes of electronics and tools are spread out across the couch and table. Yet, he excelled this time, with setting up a romantic painting class for two. I had been trying to arrange a similar class for pottery and was thrilled that we were finally making it happen.
So, the moment of truth, what to paint? Research revealed that this class was not in oils so my intended subject was off the table. (It had to be in oils and I would consider nothing else.) For circuitous reasons, I had settled upon painting a red herring. My boyfriend selected a jellyfish, based on a photograph I had taken when we went scuba diving.
The class was not only romantically supplied with wine. cheese, and grapes. but it was cleverly arranged so that we were facing eachother. Our easles were arranged back to back so that we could look at our individual paintings and each other but not the other’s painting. We were to paint our pieces and then give critiques half way through.
All I could tell of his progress was his paint pallet and suggestions from the instructor like “a little silver might make it look more shiny,” and “use this plate to get an evenly round circle. I kept on wanting to pitch in but tried to focus on my own piece.
For an hour and a half effort, I like how my herring came out:
My boyfriend’s painting, however, bore only passing resemblance to a jellyfish:
Then again, he had a different subject in mind all along:
Nevertheless, we were both happy with the result.